Meet Desiree Barber
As part of our behind the scenes series: Meet Desiree Barber, an MOA Intern
When travelling in Europe at 16, I fell in love with art history and architecture. Consequently, I decided working within art, history and culture was what I wanted to do as a career. However, after receiving some advice, I took a detour towards college for Dental Assisting. After finishing the program I decided being a dental assistant for the rest of my life was not what I wanted. So, I entered university to pursue my dream. After I received my Bachelor of Arts, I saw the need for a post-graduate program. I started at Georgian College for the Museum and Gallery Studies program. The final semester requires an internship, which I am completing at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology (MOA).
I chose to do my internship at MOA because I believed it was the best fit considering my education background. At university I majored in Anthropology and minored in Art History. Archaeology is a subdivision of anthropology, and it has always interested me, but I never really got a chance to study it while at university. An internship at MOA allows me to learn more about a topic of interest and apply the knowledge I have gained in a practical setting.
During my studies at the Georgian program, I discovered a passion for both the departments of Education and Collections Management. While applying for internships, MOA was offering a position for each department. Since I have an interest in both, while meeting with the MOA team I got to speak with Katie (Education) and Nicole (Collections Management). Katie and Nicole suggested I split my internship into two parts. I immediately took advantage of the opportunity. Thanks to this flexibility I’m gaining experience in both areas. I’ll be able to demonstrate to future employers that I am a flexible and versatile employee. These attributes are important to possess while working at cultural institutions, because there are always many hats to be worn and the environment is very team oriented.
My involvement with the education department is focused on becoming familiar with the school group activities. These include preparing for the day, giving gallery and longhouse tours, introducing artifacts to the students, holding workshops and leading crafts. A project I was assigned included organizing and planning several summer camp weeks for this upcoming summer. It has been a great experience thus far!
Next week I begin part two of my internship in Collections Management. I will be responsible for digitizing and cataloguing artifacts in MOA’s collection (using PastPerfect), completing condition reports, and helping with preparations for an exhibition. I am looking forward to it!
After the internship at MOA, I would like to find a position at a cultural institution. I’m looking forward to applying my skills and knowledge within the Education or Collections Management departments. The end goal is to find that one position that will fulfill the dream that started when I was 16.
Editor: Thanks for taking the time to meet Desiree Barber. If you missed the piece by our other Intern Monica Norris, you can read it here. We feel fortunate to have these talented young women with us and look forward to their contributions. We hope to follow their careers when done with school. Welcome Desiree and Monica. Thanks for choosing MOA for your internship.