Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Journal 5: Tasks/Assignments and Educational Implications

As I have mentioned before, most of my tasks involve research and/or organization. I also photograph some events and have opportunities to offer input on designs for invitations and brochures, though these are not everyday assignments. I feel that I am more proficient in completing the normal tasks than I was at the start of the semester and learn a lot about how a non-profit organization (specifically a museum) works. I have not gained a large amount of new skills, mainly because I have mostly been using previous skills, including some from classes I have taken.

One of my first assignments was updating the online calendar with many of the events for this year (available at www.higgins.org/calendar). Though this was not difficult to learn or accomplish, it was a necessary task since it allows the public to see what is going on at the Museum.

Several of my other tasks involved doing online research for specific businesses and related information, such as contact addresses. For example, a few weeks ago Joanne, who takes care of rentals and some events, suggested I look for New England breweries for the September Festival of Ale. I began this task but did not find a large amount of information at the time. Last week, Joanne asked me to return to it and I had much better luck, finding some breweries that were not yet on her list. As I became more familiar with craft beer and breweries, associated events and organizations, I could better complete the task.
Two more examples of tasks I have completed are preparing letters with Joanne, asking other organizations for donations to a silent auction fundraiser; and organizing all the donation requests that other organizations send the Museum into an easy to follow spreadsheet. These types of assignments are straightforward and do not require much negotiation.

The assignments that have a greater connection to my formal education involve photography and design. These are two areas I studied in multiple classes since my concentration in Communication is Print Media. The skills I gained in school definitely help me with any photo and design projects. Unfortunately, I have only photographed two events so far. Libbie, who creates some promotional materials at the Museum, has made an effort to involve me in the design process the past couple weeks, asking me to offer my opinion about and make changes to a brochure for a summer program and event invitations. I enjoy working with her and seeing the types of decisions someone with more experience than me makes, though this sort of collaboration does not provide pieces for my own portfolio. I hope that in the coming weeks, I can work on more assignments that will build my skills further.

Note: Since I first wrote this entry for my Internship Supervisor, I have met with the Museum Director to discuss what I could do to add to my portfolio. One of the things we came up with was working on the newsletter, which I had the chance to do today. Working on it involves learning about ConstantContact, which adds to my skill set. We also discussed some other photo opportunities.

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