With the year coming to an end, Museum Studies students in the last term of their Master’s programs are preparing for graduation and their exciting lives after college. Two of these students will be setting out from Gainesville with exhilarating new positions:
“I have always wanted to work for the National Park Service,” explained graduating Museum Studies student Katie Matthew, who has just been hired by the National Park Service in Hawaii. Matthew will be working at the Haleakala National Park located on the island of Maui as a Museum Technician. Haleakala’s 33,265 acres of land includes a museum with a diverse collection of natural history, cultural resources and archives.
As a Museum Technician, Matthew will be responsible for assisting with fieldwork as well as in organizing, cataloguing and environmental monitoring of the collections at Haleakala.
When asked what she looks forward to the most about her new position, Matthew replied, “Working with the Haleakala's diverse collection and with the people that are associated with that collection.”
Knowing that she wanted to work with the National Park Service and collections, while studying for her Master of Arts (MA), Matthew interned and volunteered with a wide variety of collections and museums, such as the Everglades National Park, the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Florida Ethnographic Collection and the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.
“Volunteering and working with museums is one of the best ways to get experience and possible a job in the future,” advised Matthew.
In October, graduating Museum Studies student Kathryn Rohlwing accepted a position as Special Events and Marketing Coordinator with Manatee Village Historical Park in Bradenton, Florida. In this position, Rohlwing organizes special events like visiting author talks, guest lectures, performances and festivals. She also coordinates weddings and private events as well as social media and marketing aspects at Manatee Village’s five unique historical locations.
“When I started the program, I thought that I wanted to do collections management,” explained Rohlwing. “The more classes I took and the more I learned about the variety of careers in the museum world, the more I realized that I wanted to work in special events and marketing.”
With the encouragement of her professors, Rohlwing began to broaden her experiences taking internships in events and marketing at small museums like Anna Maria Island Historical Society, where she met Phaedra Carter, her now supervisor at Manatee Village. Admiring Carter’s passion and the spirit of her employees, Rohlwing fell in love with Manatee Village.
To others aspiring to pursue careers in the museum field like Rohlwing, she recommends to gain a variety of experiences. Rohlwing explains that it is not only a good idea to build your resume, but it will “also give yourself freedom to try other fields and work in other types of museums because you never know what you will fall in love with doing or where you will end up.”