Career Exploration

SIAMS assists students in connecting their academic studies with their educational and professional goals in the art and museum fields. Students will learn what goes on in various museum jobs, what skills are needed for each, and how to acquire them. They will have an opportunity to meet and talk with professionals in many different aspects of museum work.

Two Career Exploration days allow participants to “shadow” staff members from various area museums to get a behind-the-scenes look at their jobs and to conduct in-depth informational interviews. The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; The Emily Dickinson Museum; The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art; Historic Deerfield; Mt. Holyoke College Art Museum; University Museum of Contemporary Art, UMass Amherst; and the Smith College Museum of Art all offer SIAMS students the “shadow” experience.

A career planning workshop is offered by Smith College’s Office of Career Counseling, and individual conferences with program faculty provide feedback specific to each student’s situation.

Two Graduate Training panels bring together representatives of specialized programs in art history, conservation, curatorial studies, and museum education to discuss their offerings and explain their criteria for admission. Junior professionals who are beginning their careers share their recent experience in entering the profession.

What have some SIAMS grads done?

Many SIAMS participants have begun careers in art museums and related fields or have undertaken specialized training at the graduate level. Graduates have found positions in Museum Education, Curatorial, Registrar’s Office, Public Relations and other departments in institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the High Museum in Atlanta, the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, the Museum of Modern Art, the Cleveland Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  Some have found positions in the art market as managers, directors, and assistants for galleries across the United States. Others have entered graduate school in art history and art conservation. Some are traveling and working abroad (France, India, Egypt).