Sarah Kraft, a student in the B.A. in Art History/M.A in Museum Professions dual-degree program within the College of Communication and the Arts' Center for Graduate Studies, recently completed a 12-week coveted registrar internship at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) located in New York City.
Kraft's interest in art history began in the eighth grade during her participation on a quiz bowl team. She actively preferred questions that involved art or history, and realized she wanted to combine those two subjects into a potential career path. She selected Seton Hall University's accelerated B.A. in Art History/M.A. in Museum Professions program because she knew the majority of careers in the field would require applicants to hold a master's degree.
"I came to Seton Hall particularly for the 5-year accelerated program," explained Kraft. “This program sparked my interest by allowing me to take my art history degree and continue into museum professions. Most careers in the museum industry require a master's degree, so it was easier to continue my education straight through rather than go back to school later.”
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 an on-campus program 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.
Kraft, a Museum Registration track student, completed her internship at the MET as part of the program's internship requirement. An internship at the MET is a prestigious position that receives hundreds of applications from students in the industry. Obtaining the internship was on Kraft's "bucket list," and she recalls the times she applied during her undergraduate years. She applied again as a full-time graduate student, and was full of emotion and excitement when she received the position in the Registrar's department.
In the Registrar's department, Kraft's responsibilities included assisting with the installation and de-installation process of artwork, working with an object database called The Museum System, creating new accession files for objects, and more. She also began her own individual research project for the museum, which concerned researching abandoned property.
"The MET internship complemented the material I was learning in class, and in my future career. I applied situations from my internship to many of the topics that were discussed in class, and vice versa. For example, I was able to use research experience and knowledge of the abandoned property law to become the leader of the research project at the MET," explained Kraft.
Kraft discussed how her professors in the Museum Professions program have helped prepare her for interning by offering their knowledge and support throughout her time at Seton Hall. When looking at both her B.A. in Art History and M.A. in Museum Professions programs, she notes that Dr. Petra Chu has held significant influence over her academic and professional decisions.
"I would say that Dr. Petra Chu has influenced me the most. Dr. Chu has taught so many of my classes, so we have formed a relationship through working closely together every year at Seton Hall. She's an expert in all things art history, so she is a valuable mentor to have. Seton Hall is kind of incredible in the way that you can form such close relationships with pretty much all the professors in the Museum Professions program. Each one has given me incredible advice."
Kraft is currently spending her summer working as a docent at the Moravian Historical Society in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Upon attaining her master's degree, she plans to become a special exhibitions registrar for a museum in the tri-state area.
"I never thought I would be at the MET, but the Seton Hall name and the museum professions program carry tremendous weight in the field," said Kraft.
Categories: Arts and Culture