Summer Internship Stories: Guggenheim Museum in New York City

guggenheim_museum
Aug 31 2018

“After being told ...that my degree in Interactive Media Arts would never be applicable to the workplace, I was finally working on something that directly related to classes I had taken within the IMA major,” says  Angelica Castro-Mendoza ’19.

Angelica spent her summer break in New York City, and talks about her internship with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s interactive department:

 

Being a student of both the humanities and interactive media arts, I was curious what careers I could pursue in the “art world.” I therefore jumped at the chance to get behind-the-scenes experience in the interactive department at such an iconic museum as the Guggenheim in New York.

Skills for the ‘real world’

Initially assigned tasks such as cropping photographs and analyzing museum web pages, I moved on to complete a larger research project on potential new features for the Guggenheim’s upcoming app, and the use of wayfinding technology within museum apps. My research ranged from surveying the David Bowie Is… exhibit to reading a museology thesis on interactivity within the museum sphere.

After being told by both my parents and peers that my degree in Interactive Media Arts would never be applicable to the workplace, I was finally working on something that directly related to classes I had taken within the IMA major. I was able to connect things I had learned in class directly to the workplace. Having taken a class titled Network Everything--and all but failed to have a working final project--I knew how important it was to have technical knowledge of how WiFi and Bluetooth technologies function in order to deliver a product.

I also learned how web publishing works. Sitting next to the editorial intern in the publishing and digital media department, I saw how web publishing required similar skills, but required a specific understanding of the web as its own platform.

Lessons learned

The most important lesson I learned from my IMA classes was borne out in my research: at the heart of any successful technological project, whether it be creating an app or transforming the social space of the Museum into an experience, lies a focus on the people it exists for and a consciousness of its potential consequences. Looking at how different app interfaces afforded certain (anti)social (inter)actions, also made me reevaluate my own opinions about technological growth and mediation.

This internship has helped me become more confident in my ability in the workplace and I am excited to continue my studies this coming fall. I have been inspired to think more critically about technology, media, art, and their roles in social spaces. I hope to refine my areas of study and continue learning through my upcoming classes and my capstone projects.  

 

Summer Internship Series

Angelica (front row, fourth from the right) with the Guggenheim interns of Summer 2018

 

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Angelica was a recipient of the NYU Shanghai Summer Service Grant. To learn more about applying for internships with NGOs, contact the Career Development Center at shanghai.careerdevelopment@nyu.edu. You can also log into NYU Shanghai CareerNet to explore job and internship postings and schedule career coaching appointments.

Have a summer internship story to share? Email us at nyushanghai.uc@nyu.edu