About Internships in General: Internships are a great way to gain experience and skills, develop self-confidence, and make career connections. Start planning now, make well-informed, conscious decisions, and develop a wide range of opportunities to help make your post-graduate career successful. The Department of Art History provides internship opportunities for UCI Art History majors that include:
• internships on campus with faculty and staff,including the Irvine Museum for Contemporary Art ("IMCA") currently in the planning stages at UCI, and at local museums and art-related organizations
• awards for students who have successfully completed unpaid internships, and
• awards for travel /research.
Our internships and awards are funded through the generous support of our UCI Friends of Art History.
How can you find internships? We post internship opportunities throughout the school year on our Department of Art History and AHUA Facebook pages, Twitter and this website (see News). Visit these sites weekly and be ready to answer the calls for internships as they arise.
Advance planning will maximize your chance of being awarded one of these internships and/or awards. Write and edit your resume and prepare some notes to use for your pitch including: why you want the internship and a list of the qualities, skills, experience and/or passion that make you an ideal candidate for the internship. Any specific examples you can provide are preferable to adjectives. Don’t worry if you don’t have much experience; applying for these internships alone gives you experience. You have to start somewhere.
Use initiative and research to find internships based upon your interests.
• Take the time to understand what you hope to achieve and what value you can add to the prospective organization
• Learn as much as you can about the organization’s culture, values and needs
Take notes as you prepare that will help you articulate why you are the ideal candidate you are being interviewed.
Think outside the box with internships. There are other career possibilities that can follow directly from an Art History degree such as interior design, architecture, the apparel and furniture/home furnishings industries, teaching, art conservation and archeology, but there are no limitations to what you can do with an Art History degree with thoughtful planning and conscious choices. Find internships outside the obvious ones and focus on developing transferable skills to provide you with the flexibility to adapt to change and provide you with choices now and later. We encourage you to learn about informational interviewing and use this strategy to find and obtain internships and jobs. Also see our resources page for more information about skills.
A couple of caveats about internships:
• Avoid any situation in which you are uncomfortable or feel you might be treated unfairly.
• Understand your rights and familiarize yourself with the State Department of Labor Six Point Test for Internships to ensure the internship meets the recommended criteria.
Art History majors have interned, are currently interning, or are working or have worked at these museums:
Huntington Library and Gardens
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Medici Archive Project in Firenza
Orange County Museum of Art
Laguna Art Museum
Sacramento Children’s Museum
Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida
Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program at LACMA
The Broad Museum
Laguna Art Museum
The Salvador Dali Society
We encourage you to take time to visit museums in the Orange County and Los Angeles area whether you are planning a career in museums or not. Join the Art History Undergraduate Association ("AHUA") which organizes and hosts field trips to museums, galleries and art walks; all majors are welcome!
Chelsea Trinh AH ’15 put together a map of area museums to help you find your way there and back if you decide to go it alone or want to take your friends and/or relatives at your leisure and impress them with your knowledge.
Visit our alumni page to learn more about UCI Art History majors’ careers.