Matt found his internship through an agency called Foundations Community Partnerships. The agency awards grants to non-profit organizations in Bucks County, PA. Matt applied to the Summer Youth Corp program at the James A Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA. Each day, he arrived at the museum at 8:30am. He helped prep art classrooms, made sure the materials that the teachers needed were in order, and helped check the campers in for the day. Matt would also take the kids for lunch and snack. Some of the camps were full-day, while some were half-day. If they were half-day, he would repeat the morning routine with the new group of campers. At the end of the day, Matt made sure all the campers were checked out.
Because Matt has taken so many Sociology classes at Ursinus, he was aware of how his actions as a role model for the campers would shape their perceptions on how they should act and interact with others. He was also aware of how he was subconsciously teaching the campers through his behavior. During his internship, Matt found a new passion for education and working with young children, which he never thought he would enjoy as much as he did. He believes this experience will impact what courses he will take during his last semester at Ursinus, possibly considering an education or art course.
To Matt, communication is what made everything work. This was important for his internship because he learned how to communicate with different types of people. He effectively communicated with coworkers in a professional setting, while also developing meaningful relationships with them. Matt also learned how to communicate with children in a way that promotes their own confidence and makes them feel heard and understood. When given things to do, he had to prioritize what was the most important. During his internship, he always put the camper’s experience first. If they were no having a good time, then he was not doing his job. It was also important for Matt to make sure others’ needs are met, including his coworkers and supervisors.
Before Matt’s internship, he was unsure about the direction he wanted his career to go. He did not know what field or kind of work he was interested in. After his internship, he now has the experience of working in a professional environment, museum administration, and working with children. Museum administration and childhood education are now potential career paths that he is considering. The most challenging part of Matt’s internship was getting into the routine of working 40 hours per week at a 9-5 job, but he was able to adjust well. The coolest part of his internship was being able to see the art museum from a completely different perspective. He was able to see the behind the scenes of how it was run and how all the departments and people involved created exhibitions, organized events, and created programs for the community. Matt noted how it was also interesting to be able to walk around the museum after hours and see exhibitions being installed and taken down and paintings being moved.
Matt has been playing the guitar for 8 years.
Written by Alexa Alessandrini ’24