Sua Mendez, a student pursuing her B.A./M.A. in Museum Professions within the College of Communication and the Arts, recently completed a prestigious collections management internship at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) in New York City. Mendez, who is a Museum Registration track student, secured the summer-long internship to gain professional skills and learn more about museum practice.
“Interning at The Met this summer was a dream come true,” Mendez said. “I worked under the supervision of the collections manager of the European paintings department. My primary summer project involved working directly with files relating to outgoing loans. This experience was incredibly useful to me, as loans are an important part of behind-the-scenes museum practice.”
In her role, she also organized loan files from former exhibitions, developed a list of objects with donor or loan restrictions, observed painting installs and deinstalls, and updated the exhibition history of many paintings in the database. Her favorite aspect of the internship were weekly seminars where she had the opportunity to visit the paintings conservation lab to observe an object in the process of being considered for acquisition.
Mendez credits her love for museums to her childhood, as her family encouraged her to discover and learn about art and culture. As a New York City resident, she frequently visited The Met, but never imagined it would play such a pivotal role in developing her professional career. “The internship program was inspiring,” she said. “I believe I gained a valuable understanding of what it takes to run a large urban art museum like The Met.”
“Thanks to this experience and my coursework, I am inspired to become a collections manager in the future after working in a registrar’s office,” Mendez said. “Both my supervisor and my mentor feel that an understanding of museum registration is necessary to be a successful collections manager. For this reason, I am grateful that this internship provided me with the skills and knowledge I need to be successful in this career path.”
Mendez encouraged her peers to apply to as many internships as possible. “The experiences at an internship are crucial because it provides the right knowledge and contacts before you ever even complete your degree,” she said. “Networking is key. Once you find an internship that suits your interests, make the most of it and soak up everything you learn.”
The accelerated B.A./M.A. in Museum Professions allows Seton Hall University undergraduate students majoring in programs such as art history, anthropology, English, history, or others to take 12 graduate credits. These 12 credits count toward both the B.A. and the M.A. degree. Following undergraduate commencement, students complete the remaining 27 credits of the M.A. degree.
The M.A. in Museum Professions is designed for individuals interested in pursuing careers in museums or related cultural institutions. Students in the program select one of four professional tracks, including Museum Education, Museum Registration, Museum Management, or Exhibition Development.
The College currently offers three Master's-level programs, including Museum Professions, Strategic Communication, and Public Relations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated B.A./M.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered.