The M.A. in Museum Professions program, a graduate program within the College of Communication and the Arts, recently hosted a Career Lab facilitated by adjunct instructor Gregory Stevens, a distinguished museum career coach.
At the Career Lab, participants received an in-depth overview of an essential “career toolkit” including 21st century skills, resume and cover letter writing, creating an online presence, and networking. The workshop concluded with the opportunity for participants to schedule one-on-one appointments with Stevens for personalized assistance in further developing their career skills.
Anna Baccaglini, a B.A/M.A. in Museum Professions student, explained how the Career Lab benefitted her job search and employability. “After attending the Career Lab, I gained a better understanding of how to identify my skills, brand myself, and build my network. Because of Instructor Stevens’ thoughtfulness and professional insight, my documents are strong communication tools for a competitive job market.”
Stevens has several years of experience in career coaching. He has facilitated career labs and workshops for museum studies and museum education programs at The George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, Baylor University, and the University of Washington. From 2007 to 2017, he directed the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Professional Development program, through which he addressed career management, leadership development, and skills-building for museum colleagues. Additionally, he co-edited A Life in Museums: Managing Your Museum Career and authored several career-related columns in AAM's member magazine, Museum.
Some of the best practices discussed at the Career Lab, include:
- Candidates need to be flexible and adaptable, mastering many different rapidly changing fields.
- Note keywords and key phrases in the position description and use that same language in resumes, cover letters, and online profiles.
- State and quantify accomplishments and impact on resume.
- Customize resume and cover letter for each job application and remember to proof read.
- Cover letters should be personal, expressing strengths, accomplishments, and uniqueness.
- Hiring managers review candidate’s online presence. Make sure online presence shows professional side.
- Networking is the deliberate process of exchanging information, resources, support, and access in such a way as to create mutually-beneficial relationships for personal and professional success. It’s never too late to network.
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. A Ph.D. program is currently under development.