Andi Curtis ’23 spent a lot of time at museums growing up, both in the United States and abroad.
“My parents made an effort to take me to museums and local history sites to make sure I was exposed to cultures that I didn’t necessarily grow up with,” said Curtis, whose father was stationed overseas. “I was probably 7 or 8 by that point, but I remember being interested in all the different ways that information was being conveyed, especially considering there was a language barrier in some cases.”
Curtis double majored in history and art history, with a minor in Renaissance studies, at Randolph. Now she’s preparing to head overseas again, this time to Swansea University in Wales, to earn her masters in medieval history.
“I want to be able to use what I learn to create interactive and enticing programs for museums that encourage a love for learning and history at all ages,” she said.
During her time behind the Red Brick Wall, Curtis volunteered at the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College and found that her studies often overlapped with the College’s museum and heritage studies major, all of which helped cement her interest in museum work.
“It’s very easy to branch out if you have a good idea and are willing to ask professors for help finding opportunities,” she said. “I may not have majored in museum and heritage studies, but because of how closely I worked with those professors, I still benefited. The staff are always so happy to help you explore different topics and ideas and love to see students succeed.”
Curtis also held a work study position in Randolph’s Ancient Collections Room, learning about object handling and basic accession activities and helping Collections Assistant Emilie Bryant put together exhibitions.
“These experiences have given me the confidence to take on challenges that I may have to deal with in the workforce,” she said. “I’m much more confident in myself, my ability to problem solve or to ask for help, and in my ability to clearly relay my thoughts.”
This summer, Curtis interned at Historic Sotterley in Maryland in collections management.
“My supervisor started asking me more questions about what I did during work study and trying to figure out what I was really interested in,” Curtis said. “Once she got me working with collections we both realized that this is what I’m good at and what I enjoy doing.”
Her duties included updating the collections management policy, creating new inventory forms, and putting together resources for other interns and staff members.
“A lot of what I did was corrective in a sense,” she said. “I really worked to lay a framework for future interns and staff to be able to help care for the collections at Sotterley to the best of their ability.”
Swansea’s master’s program lasts one year. After that, Curtis plans to stick around and continue exploring her options.
“My ideal job would probably have a little bit of everything,” she said. “I want to work with collections and archives—that is definitely an area that I’m passionate about—but I would also like to work with education to some degree as well. I love learning to do all different kinds of things, and I wouldn’t say no to working in any capacity, especially at a museum or historic site.”Tags: art history, history, museum and heritage studies, outcomes, summer 2023 internships