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M.A. in Museum Professions Student Explores Museum Fundraising at The Franklin Institute  

Jacquelyn Coletta Each year The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia receives hundreds of applications from students and rising professionals in the museum field interested in internship opportunities. Jacquelyn Coletta, a student pursuing her M.A. in Museum Professions, a graduate program within the College of Communication and the Arts, secured a prestigious internship at the Institute with its External Affairs Department.

Coletta, a student in the Museum Education track, served as the Fundraising and Special Events intern. Her internship offered her the opportunity to work in a museum that is a world leader in STEM education and prepared her for a future professional career in museums.

At The Franklin Institute, Coletta worked on a series of fundraising projects utilizing a donor management system known as Raiser’s Edge. These projects included writing newsletters, invitations, emails, proposals, and reports to donors and stakeholders. She also assisted in planning and organizing logistics for large fundraisers, VIP donors, and membership events. Additionally, she assisted with initiatives related to membership, foundation, individual, and corporate relations. Upon reflection, she considers the opportunity to plan and attend a gala for the traveling exhibit The Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor the highlight of her internship experience.

Coletta believes that her internship experience was an excellent source of professional development. “Interning with The Franklin Institute will help me with my future career in museum professions due to the experiences I have been provided, the fundraising skills I have mastered, and the network of connections that I have made throughout my time here.”

“I learned first-hand the process of strategic planning, capital campaign development, community engagement, and audience research for continued sustainability,” Coletta shared. “Although I’m studying in the Museum Education track, I think it is important to fully understand the process of fundraising for museums. Without funding from individual donors, corporations, and grants, a museum may have challenges sustaining itself.”

Jacquelyn Coletta Coletta credits the College’s graduate program for exposing her to the various aspects of the museum field. “The Museum Fundraising Fundamentals course I completed prepared me for this internship. I recommend it to current and prospective students considering this class when it is offered.”

She shared her advice for students looking for an internship. “Take the time to write personal cover letters to each museum or institution you apply to, tailor your resume to match the intended internship position, and ensure that professional references will thoughtfully speak on your behalf.”

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. All students in the program complete a 200-hour for-credit internship. A dedicated internship supervisor assists with placement and an internship directory is available to students.

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.

For more information about Graduate Studies within the College of Communication and the Arts, please contact Dr. Ryan Hudes.

Categories: Arts and Culture

For more information, please contact:

  • Ryan Hudes, Ph.D.
  • (973) 275-4832
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