Former AU Art History student Caroline Marsh returned to campus during the federal shutdown to take advantage of AU classes open to furloughed feds. On her way back from a project management seminar, Marsh made time to share the story of her success with the AU community and provide advice on landing a job after graduating to current students.
Marsh currently works as the Regular Meetings Assistant for the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), a department at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She works closely with academics and museum employees to schedule focus group discussions amongst these art historians.
Looking back, Marsh reflects on how helpful both her academic degrees and work experience were in finding a job in her field. While studying at AU as an undergraduate, Marsh worked for the AU museum, training both in administration and as an art handler. She credit’s AU’s joint MA/BA classes with challenging her as an undergraduate student to work up to a high level and preparing her for her MA degree at the Courtauld Institute, London where she foregrounded feminist and post-colonial theory in her dissertation. After earning her MA, Marsh worked for a non-profit where she honed her administrative and office skills which allowed her to successfully move into museum work.
“Don’t give up! I was close to giving up a few times–it took me three years post-MA to find a job in the field. But keep trying and remember why this matters to you. Private sector, non-arts related jobs help you build the skills and salary history you need to set the rest of your career. Think about how everything you do can set you up for success later.”
At the National Gallery, she pulls on both this logistical experience and her knowledge of the field to navigate the encompassing nature of her position. True to her word, Marsh plans to use the job and management training offered by AU during the furlough to return to work with even more to offer her department.