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Internships available at the USC Pacific Asia Museum

The USC Pacific Asia Museum is seeking to hire interns to work in a specific museum department and attend regular departmental meetings, but interact frequently with other departments.
May 27, 2015

Department of Public Engagement

Interns work in a specific museum department and attend regular departmental meetings, but interact frequently with other departments. Aside from their specific projects, interns contribute to ongoing events and programs at the museum. They are invited to participate in monthly all-staff meetings and to attend docent lectures, curatorial tours, and other special programs at the museum. Internship positions are open to undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in a degree program and to recent recipients of a relevant degree. Unpaid interns are accepted throughout the year on a rolling application schedule. Applications need to be received at least a month before the proposed start date. All internships have a minimum requirement of 10 consecutive weeks, 16 hours per week. For questions, please contact Susana Bautista, Director of Public Engagement at


1. Cultural Trunks

The museum has Cultural Trunks that are available for schools and community groups to borrow from the museum free of charge. These trunks include touchable art, toys, clothes, books and other items. Currently there are 3 trunks: China, Pakistan, and Japan. The Intern is responsible for updating these trunks with new items and adding new educational materials, such as a list of resources at local libraries, a video or DVD, images of works in the museum’s permanent collection, flashdrive with powerpoint images, and a description of the items and their cultural relevance. We also want to add more trunks, such as Korea and Vietnam. The intern needs to contact groups that have borrowed the trunks in the past and survey them about their experience with the trunks and any suggestions for improvements. Then the Intern will meet with the relevant museum Arts Councils to better understand those cultures and discuss the project with them for their input, as well as with the Docent Council. We will research and visit local museums that offer similar trunks and discuss with the museum educators. New items will be solicited or purchased. Educational materials will be created together with the Arts Councils, docents and staff, and then translated into various languages. The Intern will work with Communications staff to design marketing materials.

2. Travelers Backpacks

The museum created a prototype of a Travelers’ Pack long ago but has never developed this program. The Packs would be available for free for families that visit the museum, designed for children to take with them around the museum and the courtyard to enhance their visit. Items in the Packs would include a magnifying glass, pad of paper and pencils, information on certain works formulated for children, and other materials. The intern will need to research and visit local museums that offer similar family bags and discuss with the museum educators. Then the Intern will discuss the project with other museum constituents such as the Docent Council and curatorial staff. The items to be included will be identified, purchased or created. The Intern will determine a way to display and store the bags around the Front Desk area and will create appropriate signage.

3. The Silk Road Gallery

The Silk Road Gallery is the museum’s only family interactive space, located on the first floor next to the exhibition galleries. It opened in 2008 but is currently going through renovation in order to update the materials and add a Reading Corner. The intern will be responsible for working on educational materials and signage for the walls, the boxes of clothing, and an iPad that will all enhance the visitor experience for families with small children as well as adults. The intern will also work closely with the museum docents and education staff to develop educational materials for teachers, and also talking points for docents and volunteers that interact with visitors inside the gallery.

4. Gallery Bookmarks

This is a new project that the museum is interested in starting that will deepen knowledge of the arts of Asia and the Pacific, and enhance the visitor experience in the galleries. In partnership with the Pasadena Public Library, the museum will offer Bookmarks in its galleries (both permanent and temporary for major exhibitions) that provide a list of resources for all ages and levels such as books, films, music, videos, podcasts, blogs, and websites. The intern will need to conduct research on the subject matter of the galleries, and work closely with education staff and librarians to identify and select the resources. The intern will also work with a graphic designer to design the bookmarks, with communications staff to create signage, and with the museum preparator to create racks in the galleries.


1. Community Outreach

This internship focuses on community outreach efforts for the museum. We have made a goal to bring in more Asian visitors to the museum, as well as a younger audience. We have also identified five geographic cities that have the highest concentration of Asians in Southern California, adjacent to the museum and Pasadena. The objective of this internship will be to create a strategic plan for community outreach based on the museum’s goals. This will involve creating a list of community places and events to partner with and establishing new connections and partnerships, as well as conducting an analysis of the museum’s media partners and creating new media partnerships. The Intern will work closely with both Communications and Education staff to create this plan and connect with partners.

2. Social Media

This internship focuses on the museum’s use of social media as an important tool for marketing and communications. The museum is currently active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and has a blog, but has only recently begun to focus on social media. The objective of this internship will be to create a comprehensive plan for social media for the next six months, to actively post and tweet during the duration of the internship, and to report on analytic data for social media. The intern will also work on creating a six month plan for blog posts that integrates other museum staff and outside individuals, and then contacting those for postings for the duration of the internship. The Intern will work closely with both Communications and Education staff to create this plan and connect with partners.



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