The internship took place in Etihad museum in Dubai, the UAE. This project included several major goals focusing on the issues of budgeting, meeting arrangement and facilitation, museum procedures, policy development, organizational improvement, the analysis of data and activities, and shadowing the museum director. The overall objective of the internship activities was directed at the development and practice of versatile leadership and administrational skills and abilities. The activities included in the internship program were based on different kinds of tasks of a museum leader that were designed to provide necessary and valuable experiences for the intern, and to allow practicing professional duties of various nature and degrees of complexity.
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To be more precise, the first goal included in the internship program was focused on budgeting activities and included working with the organizational budget plans, a detailed overview of the existing and potential expenses, risks, and opportunities, and the prediction of possible development scenarios helping to address and manage the threats, monitor expenses, and reduce costs. This activity was quite complex and required the application of critical thinking, planning and forecasting skills, as well as the analytic skills helping to determine what kinds of changes were required in order to address the current and potential budgeting issues.
One of the most useful and valuable activities within the course was the one dedicated to the facilitation of meetings for the purpose of the establishment of a basis for collaboration between the museum and other organizations including the Ministry of Education. The activity showed that the arrangement of meetings is a complex and multifaceted procedure that involves a multitude of aspects and requires thorough planning, resources, and paper work. In that way, this internship activity provided a substantial amount of valuable professional practice. In addition, similarly to the activity reflected on previously, the one dedicated to the facilitation of meetings was directly related to the planning and forecasting skills as it was necessary to consider the course of the arranged meetings, their content, discussion questions, as well as their purpose and expected outcomes. These tasks also required appropriate time management and a deep understanding of different communication styles.
Just like in the facilitation of meetings, communication played an important role in the internship goal covering various museum procedures. To be more precise, such procedures included multiple groups of stakeholders and the application of versatile communication styles and strategies in order to establish trusting and positive relations with all of them. Also, the density of activities and tasks in this field called for careful time management so that versatile discussions and duties could be carried out on time. The use of technologies such as digital devices allowing fast communication with different people and groups helped to improve the productivity of interactions, as well as their effectiveness. All in all, museum procedures included a wide range of operations such as the cooperation with various interdisciplinary teams of professionals, the arrangement of exhibitions, the discussion of educational focuses and goals of different museum activities, the management of art pieces exhibited in the museum, as well as their storage and transportation.
One of the most interesting goals within the course of the internship was the one focused on the improvement of the museum. The activities included in this objective were versatile and covered the allocation of budget for renovation and change purposes that would help the museum function in a more effective manner and provide a better experience to its visitors. This activity was based on the evaluation of the importance and urgency of various needs of the museum and decision-making as to which needs are to be addressed primarily.
The goal that included most of the planning and evaluation was the one dedicated to the analysis of data and the alignment of the current action plan with the obtained information. This goal sounded like a general activity including the work with a bigger picture and long-term planning, projecting, and forecasting. In order to fulfil the tasks included in this goal, it was necessary to be able to draw connections between the present activities of the museum and its future projects and plans, assess their potential outcomes, required resources, and the current state of affairs with potential problems and challenges.
Overall, the internship showed that the leader’s position in a museum is related to a broad range of responsibilities and tasks. Moreover, it also covers a very diverse set of duties from communication with stakeholder groups, to the management of art pieces, their transportation, storing, and the conditions in which they are kept, budget allocation, change, innovation, and organizational improvement. In addition, shadowing the museum director helped understand the work carried out in order to stimulate the collaboration with schools and the influence on students through the maintenance of effective communication with museum tour guides. In conclusion, the internship experience demonstrated how a very wide range of activities can come together in order to create the most productive educational impact while keeping the organization well-managed, developed, and connected to various stakeholder groups and partner establishments.