Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
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Amy Poissant

Major: Biological Anthropology
Hometown: State College, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) several times as a kid when I visited family in Portland, and I wondered what sort of opportunities they offered. I found out about the internship program online, and that was also where they asked applicants to apply.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My first week at OMSI consisted of several different training sessions that got me comfortable with the museum and their method of educating the public about science topics. During the rest of the summer I worked in the Featured Exhibit section of the museum. The summer exhibit was Pompeii: the Exhibition. I learned and presented educational demonstrations to visitors at the museum, and I helped run the theaters in the exhibit. After presenting several types of demonstrations, we were able to create our own. I was tasked with training volunteers on the various aspects of the exhibit, as well as monitoring the exhibit floor. Interns were trained on the museum radios in case of emergency, and we were able to attend daily morning meetings.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I was expected to make two goals to complete during the internship experience. One was a personal goal and one was related to a project. My personal goal was about becoming more comfortable public speaking in front of all different types of people, which I was able to do every day that I interned at OMSI. I also worked to create an educational demonstration with two other interns, which we then presented informally to the public. We researched background information, gathered supplies, and wrote directions so that other people would also be able to present the demonstration in the future.

I found that it was especially valuable to learn how to oversee and interact with all different types of volunteers and visitors at the museum...

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

This internship allowed me to gain work experience in several different areas. I learned about science education, experienced a large non-profit museum and learned how to train and oversee volunteers. All of these were important to me because I still have a goal of learning about different career options that are relevant to my major while also gaining important experience that I can transfer to a future job. I found that it was especially valuable to learn how to oversee and interact with all different types of volunteers and visitors at the museum, because interacting with many types of personalities happens in any career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend the experience to other students! I was able to spend time learning how the exhibit and museum was run, and then I was encouraged to take on more responsibility once I felt comfortable. Interns at OMSI were also able to attend daily morning meetings, which allowed us to meet many other employees and interns. Two other interns and I were able to research and create our own project.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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