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Experience from a Crystal Bridges High School Intern and Beyond

2016 high school interns discuss an artwork in Crystal Bridges' galleries.

Last summer, LaCameria (“Cam”) Clark was one of the museum’s first class of Crystal Bridges’ high school residential interns. This competitive program brings a group of high school rising seniors from schools in Phillips County, Arkansas, to the museum for five to six weeks to explore every aspect of museum administration. The three-year pilot program is funded by the Walton Family Foundation, and is administered here at Crystal Bridges by passionate and dedicated Museum Educators Matthew Boyd and Donna Hutchison. 

It seems Cam was bitten by the Museum Bug when she was here! This year, as a high school graduate, Cam has returned to Crystal Bridges to intern for the Communications team as an individual. 

I asked her to prepare a blog post about her experience last summer, as a sort of introduction to a series of posts by this year’s class of high school interns.  In the next two weeks, I’ll be working with the interns to help them develop their ideas and produce personal blog posts about their experience here at Crystal Bridges. We’ll begin publishing those posts in mid-July. Watch for this fun, insightful series by a great group of highly talented and motivated students. —LD

 

 

Last summer, I did not have a clue that I would have partaken in one of the most incomparable experiences in my life to date. I was one of many eager high school juniors at my school who sought after this amazing residential program. I knew this internship was competitive because I recall many of my classmates were excited about the opportunity and gathering information to be candidates.

 

The entire process was intense. I had to prepare for my very first interview. That was a huge milestone in my life. YouTube was my best friend for “dos and don’ts” tips. Then, the time had come for my interview. I was nervous but prepared. Weeks later, I was notified that I was selected to be an intern at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. I was elated; I was going to have my first internship.

 

Each day of my six-week internship was beyond incredible. Prior to the internship, I would describe museums as a place to look at old artwork and leave. But not anymore. Crystal Bridges has many departments behind the scenes of the galleries. There are culinary, media, merchandising, and much more than I could have imagined.

 

LaCameria Clark serves up a chicken salad while working with Eleven’s culinary team during her internship last summer.

 

On another note, the freedom of summer was not robbed from us at all. Outside of work, the interns engaged in many activities such as concerts, trampoline parks, water parks, and other exciting places.

 

I was able to employ my creativity on the capstone project: curating my own art exhibition and designing a website. The day of the presentation of the capstone project was so emotional—I cried joyful and sad tears about leaving the people I saw every day for six weeks.

 

I met a ton of great people who were passionate about what they do. Even people who were passionate about us!  They did not forget about us—11 months later Nikki Spurlock (museum educator) and Ron Williams (director of information systems and business intelligence) traveled almost six hours to the Delta of Arkansas to witness us walk across the stage to receive our diplomas. (You can read Nikki’s post about that experience here.)

 

2016 high school interns share a meal together in Eleven.

 

I am a returning intern this summer to focus on the Communications department of the museum. I have had an interest in communications for a while, but job shadowing the Crystal Bridges Communications department last summer assured me that this was the career path that I wanted to pursue. I am excited because this experience will expose me to new things about the communications world, right before I matriculate at Ouachita Baptist University and major in Mass Communications.

Linda DeBerry
Senior Copy Editor / Publications Manager

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