Student Spotlight: Emily Veldman

Student Spotlight: Emily Veldman

Emily is graduating from the Master of Arts Management program this spring. We caught up with her to talk about her post-graduation plans, her two-year journey with Columbia College, and her current internship at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

After two years in Columbia’s Master of Arts Management program, do you have any advice for incoming graduate students?

My advice to upcoming graduate students would be to complete internships in your field to gain more experience and develop further connections outside of Columbia. I think it’s also important to attend events in the city to meet people in your field. All of the practicum courses are great ways to learn and develop skills in the field, while also adding to your resume. As someone who was out of school for two years before applying to graduate school, it was important to still develop my resume during my time at Columbia.

Looking back over the two years you spent in the program, is there anything you wish you had done differently?

Looking back, I do wish I had applied to the program earlier to get a work-study position within the department. I also could have benefitted from a longer internship at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, however, I don’t believe in dwelling too deeply about the past in that regard. I think I’ve accomplished quite a bit in my two years in Chicago and feel that I’m where I’m supposed to be.

What do you do as an intern for the Museum of Contemporary Photography?

I am the Collection Research intern at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. I conduct research on the museum’s permanent collection and Midwest Photographers Project. I also work with the Curator of Academics and Collections by assisting with research on collection items and writing texts on each to be published on the website. In addition, I assist with print viewings and docent tours for school groups.

What’s the best way to find the perfect internship? Any advice?

My advice for getting an internship would be to develop relationships with professors, peers, and professionals in the field. These connections can help you get an internship at a company you like, but they also can provide recommendations when you are applying for school credit positions. I think the most important thing is to be persistent; even if you don’t get the internship you applied for, you should keep applying to other positions at that company.