It’s hard to believe that I have been interning at Air and Space for three weeks already! I can’t say enough how exhilarating it is to come to work every morning in such an amazing building that attracts millions of visitors a year. Because the work day starts before the museum opens to the public, the morning is a rare opportunity to experience the museum as few get the chance to: calm, empty, quiet. I managed to snap this picture this morning (and if you’ve ever been to NASM you know this isn’t a usual sight). What is so crazy about this photo to me is that it was taken right before they began letting people in, and when I returned to this same location 10 minutes later the entire floor was filled with school groups and families and visitors excited to take in everything the museum has to offer.
Being able to see the museum in this unique way is, to me, indicative of what this internship is all about: seeing the behind-the-scenes of the museum and understanding that Air and Space isn’t just what is seen on the surface. Up on the third floor, beyond the reaches of the daily visitors, is a little city of people working in Communications, Exhibits, Finance, Space History, Aeronautics and many other department whose actions, along with the amazing Visitor Services staff who work on the 1st and 2nd floors, fuel the museum and its programs and galleries.
To me, this is one of the most fascinating things about this internship, being able to understand just how much work goes into the running of a museum. I’m constantly amazed by all of the details and factors that must be considered. This internship is amazing exposure to the business side of a place of education and tourism.