WhitmanWayfinderArtsAndCommunicationMuseums today are dynamic sites for informal learning, scholarship, preservation of cultural objects, civic engagement, and pedagogical experimentation. Working in museums requires curating, maintaining and repairing collections, as well as managing how the public accesses them. Visual assignments using both tangible and digital objects to communicate ideas and narratives occur in courses across the curriculum at Whitman.

Following an internship with the Galicia Jewish Museum in Kazimierz, Poland, Sage Malecki '18 said: 

"Having this internship and this opportunity to be abroad for the whole summer has allowed me to grow in so many ways by pushing me to my limits so far from home and allowing me to try new things."

There are many clubs on campus that will allow you to explore your interests, stretch your skills and make an impact in an area about which you're passionate. Contact the ASWC Club Director at aswc_clubdir@whitman.edu to learn more about current clubs or start your own.

blue moon

blue moon is a student-staffed annual art and literary magazine funded by ASWC that features outstanding art, prose, poetry, and digital media from the Whitman community.

Buildings and Grounds Governing Board

Two students sit on the Buildings and Grounds Governing Board to provide perspective on significant, long-term initiatives concerning structures, renovation, and upkeep. These students represent their peers in meetings with the Whitman College Board of Trustees.

Classics Club

This club caters to classics enthusiasts who enjoy studying and celebrating the history and culture of Ancient Greece and Rome.

Fine Arts House (FAH)

Affiliated with the art department, the FAH houses up to eight students and one resident assistant who plan and run programming that emphasizes studio art, theatre, and music.

quarterlife

quarterlife is a student-run literary magazine funded by ASWC. Four times a year the staff solicits submissions based on a theme and then compiles and prints the issue.

Sheehan Gallery

Located on the first floor of Olin, the Sheehan Gallery features two outside and two student exhibits each year. Students can submit pieces to the Winter Art Salon and often work in the gallery.

Stevens Gallery

Curated by students, the Stevens Gallery in Reid Campus Center provides a public art installation space open to any member of the Whitman community.

Community involvement helps students understand a broad range of issues and is becoming increasingly important in the eyes of many employers. For more ways to connect with local organizations, contact the Student Engagement Center in Reid Campus Center.

Downtown Walla Walla Foundation

This organization aims to help preserve the culture, history, and commerce of downtown Walla Walla. Volunteers are able to help on various historical tasks throughout the year, as well as help with general tasks like website management, newsletter articles, and poster distribution.

Fort Walla Walla Museum

Fort Walla Walla Museum aims to maintain Walla Walla's regional heritage. Volunteers can expect to give guided tours, help with gardening, and gain great knowledge about various exhibits and collections.

Kirkman House Museum

Kirkman Museum aims to enrich the cultural heritage of Walla Walla by preserving the Kirkman Family home, sharing its history, and educating our community and visitors about domestic life in Victorian-era Walla Walla. Volunteers can expect to lead tours, help with garden upkeep, aid in communications and social media, and provide other forms of assistance.

stART

Students partner with CAMPFIRE USA to teach art, music, and theater lessons at local elementary schools.

Walla Walla 2020: Architecture and Neighborhoods

This organization works with government agencies, private entities, and the public to promote sustainability (ecological, equitable, and economical) in the community. One of Walla Walla 2020's areas of focus is developing a community with a strong center that respects its heritage by rehabilitating and renovating downtown.

Whitman Mission Historic Site

Volunteers can expect to do resource inventory and monitoring, stream restoration, guide tours, design graphics documents, transcribe historical documents, and demonstrate historical or scientific activities.

Fellowships and grants afford many students the opportunity to continue their learning beyond graduation in high-impact programs. For more information, please contact the Office of Fellowships and Grants in Reid Campus Center.

American-Scandinavian Foundation

The American-Scandinavian Foundation offers yearlong fellowships and one-to-three month grants to individuals to pursue research or study in one or more Scandinavian countries. Awards are made in all fields, so applications to the visual arts, music, film, dance, creative writing and translation are welcome. 

Anchorage Urban Fellows

Anchorage Urban Fellows is a nine-month program that places dynamic college graduates in some of Anchorage's most significant civic institutions. Fellows are supported by a team of well-connected members of the Anchorage community who help fellows integrate into the Anchorage community. Fellows are housed in the South Addition district of Anchorage adjoining downtown and the city's outdoor and cultural hubs.

DeKarman Fellowship

The DeKarman Fellowship is open to U.S. and international students currently enrolled in a university or college in the United States. Only candidates for a Ph.D. who will defend their dissertation by June 2020 and undergraduates entering their senior year are eligible for consideration. Special consideration will be given to applicants in the humanities. Study must be carried out in the United States, and all funds must be expended in the country. 

Fulbright UK Summer Institutes

The U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission offers eight summer programs for students with U.S. citizenship. Each program, based at a particular U.K. university or cultural institution, varies in duration (three to six weeks) and offers a unique immersion in British education and culture.

Mount Vernon Leadership Fellowship

The Mount Vernon program is a highly selective, six-week summer institute for rising college juniors that offers unparalleled learning and networking opportunities at the home of America's first president just outside our nation's capital. The program provides housing, transportation, meals and a $3,000 stipend. Fellows will develop valuable leadership skills, advance an actionable cause with a capstone project, build a professional network and connect with Washington D.C. leaders and decision-makers.

Sitka Fellows

The Sitka Fellows program brings together young talent across all fields and disciplines to participate in an innovative, interdisciplinary residency program based in Sitka, Alaska. The program rewards visionaries of all stripes: frame-busting, independent thinkers who spend seven weeks with other smart, enthusiastic young people from radically different backgrounds. The primary award is a seven-week residency at the Sheldon Jackson Campus in Sitka, Alaska. Residents live on campus and are provided with studio and research space, meals and a communal environment.

General

To learn more about working on campus, visit the Student Employment page. We have general job search resources here. For employers committed to diversity and opportunities for minorities, visit workplacediversity.com, nemnet.com, and blackcollegian.com.

Industry Resources

Internships and on-campus employment are excellent for accumulating work experience, developing your narrative, and broadening your network. Note that the list below is not comprehensive. Check sites such as vault.com and internships.com for more opportunities.

To see what Museum-based internships Whitman students have held in the past, check out the Whitman Internship Database and search "Museum" or "Arts & Communication".

Studying away from campus is a fantastic way to learn more about the world, as well as an excellent experience upon which you'll draw throughout your academic and professional career. For more information, contact Off-Campus Studies in Memorial.

IFSA Butler: Glasgow School of Art
Through the Institute for Study Abroad at Butler University, Whitman students may enroll in the Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow, Scotland. Glasgow is a vibrant city with a population of 650,000. It is home to the national Scottish companies of ballet, opera, orchestra and chorus. It offers two repertory theaters, the Glasgow Film Theater, galleries, and museums. Serious studio art students who attend the Glasgow School of Art can expect to spend 30-35 hours a week in the studio working on independent projects under faculty supervision.

University of East Anglia (UEA)
Whitman students may enroll directly at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, England as visiting students. It is located a few miles outside the small, picturesque city of Norwich and less than 2 hours by train to London. UEA possesses interdisciplinary schools, rather than traditional academic departments, with courses in fields such as English literature, creative writing, film studies, theater, music, museum studies, development studies, linguistics, psychosocial studies, biology, chemistry, math, art history, American studies, and environmental sciences. In addition to enrolling in classes alongside local students, students attending the University of East Anglia may join the many clubs offered at the university.

Syracuse Florence
Through Whitman College's affiliation with Syracuse University Florence, qualified students may study at the Syracuse Center in Florence, Italy, a well-established program that was founded over 40 years ago. This program hosts approximately 400 US students each semester and offers courses in everything from art history to Italian politics. Florence is a particularly well-suited destination for art history students because the city's world-class art and architecture. Moreover, the Syracuse program incorporates field trips into many of the art history courses enabling students to study from the actual art and architecture itself.

IES: Paris French Studies
The IES French Studies Program in Paris, France provides students with an opportunity to live in the rich cultural capital and study exclusively in French with French professors either at the IES Paris Center or at one of several local universities, such as the Sorbonne-Paris IV or Institut Catholique. A special feature of this program is the opportunity to learn about France through an internship in the workplace. In addition to their regular courses, students may enroll in an internship-based course in education,a non-governmental organization, business, or the arts.

IES: Vienna, European Society, & Culture
Through the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), Whitman students may enroll at the IES Center in Vienna. The IES Vienna program offers courses in art history, politics, music, history, literature, economics, and psychology taught by Austrian faculty in English and German specifically for US study abroad students. A special feature of the program is the opportunity to enroll in courses that focus on Central and Eastern Europe. As a cultural center, Vienna offers a wide range of arts including opera, concerts theater, world-famous museums, and historic architecture. In addition, the program offers optional field trips each semester to locations such as Berlin, Dresden, Budapest, Krakow, Prague, and the Austrian Alps.

IES: Study London
Through the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), Whitman students may enroll at the IES London Center to study with British Faculty on the Study London program. The IES Center in London offers courses in art history, politics, history, literature and drama, economics, philosophy, sociology, and film studies and strives to use the city of London as "the classroom." The program also offers a wide range of internships in theater, museums, government (including Parliament), think tanks, social organizations, and education that may be taken for credit.

The Philadelphia Center
Qualified Whitman students interested in a professional development experience in the historic city of Philadelphia may elect to participate in THe Philadelphia Center program. Participants on this program will intern on a field of their choice for 32 hours a week. The Philadelphia Center offers more than 800 internship options to choose from with organizations such as the Environmental Protection Association, Philadelphia Zoo, arden Theater Company, and the District Attorney's office. In addition to the internship, students will enroll in a weekly City Seminar and one elective course.

Here are some possible post-graduate degrees pursued by people in museums. Contact Gayle Townsend at townsegv@whitman.edu for additional information.

  • Master of Arts in Museum Studies
  • Master of Science in Museum and Digital Culture
  • Ph.D. in Art History
  • Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies
  • Museum Education Studies Doctoral Graduate programs

Other Resources

American Historical Association - Resources for graduate study in history and early career professionals.

Alumni in the Field

Log in to LinkedIn or Whitman Connect to learn about Whitman alumni with museum jobs.

Potential Job Titles

Anthropologist
Archaeologist
Antiques Expert
Conservator
Curator
Designer
Director
Educator
Exhibit Developer
Historian
Interpreter
Registrar