On Friday, February 23th, students and staff visited the Rubin Museum of Art, an art and cultural hub in Chelsea focused on bridging contemporary life and the art and concepts of the Himalayas and neighboring regions. Columbia students were given insights into internship opportunities and given a private tour of the museum.

Employee Panel and students at the Rubin Museum

All You Need is Love (for Museums and the Arts)

Eight Rubin staff members spoke to Columbia students about their departments, responsibilities, and experiences working at the museum. The Rubin staff members’ backgrounds were varied professionally and academically, and contained a mix of art history, museum studies, communications, media studies, and journalism—but they all shared a passion for art and museums. 

Having an interest and passion for the arts and museums was a point that the Rubin staff emphasized. 

“There is no prerequisite for Asian Art — just be enthusiastic about and have an interest in art and museums.”  

Being able to show that you have the desire to work in a museum and have a strong interest in art stands out in an application. Just as the Rubin staff come from various backgrounds, applicants with a range of experiences will be considered. In fact, several of the staff pointed out that not having a previous background in museums, art or marketing could work to your advantage as it can bring a fresh perspective. 

Students on a tour of the Rubin Museum
Students listening to Tour Guide

Before you Apply…

Rubin staff shared a few insights for applicants applying for internships at the museum:

  • Know what you’re applying for: As with an application to any job, the best advice for students is to know the position you’re applying for and how your previous experiences, educational or professional, are applicable to the role.
  • As many as you want: Students are welcome to apply to multiple internships, as long as they provide a detailed cover letter for each role that specifies their intent to apply to more than one opportunity.  
  • Interest: While no background in Himalayan art is necessary, applicants should be able to demonstrate an interest in art, art history, or museums in general.
  • Make it known: Students should make known their specific skill sets and interests! Internships have historically been tailored for the person in the role. Are you great at graphic design, even though it’s not part of the internship description? Then make it known in the interview!
  • Stay connected: Perform your job well and stay connected. Several of the Rubin staff members in attendance got their start at the museum as college interns!

internship opportunities

Opportunities at the Rubin vary across departments, interest areas, and skill sets—from curatorial to educational programming to database management to external relations. While most summer internships begin by the end of May, there is flexibility in regard to start date. Below is a sample list of departments that are currently seeking summer interns. Interested candidates can see a full list of openings here:

  • Curatorial
  • Collections Management
  • Education and Engagement
  • Exhibitions Management
  • Public Programs
  • Public Relations and Marketing

interested in learning more?

Students and recent graduates interested in learning more about internship and full-time opportunities at The Rubin are encouraged to attend the Museum College Career Readiness Workshop on Friday, April 6.

For more specific information about internships or questions about the site visit, please email the Center for Career Education.