Alum Mentors Senior Intern at Penn Museum

Julianna Whalen

April 16, 2019

Julianna Whalen '19 encourages fellow students to attend Break Through, our annual on-campus alumni networking event, because it's where she got the chance to work in her dream field.

A senior from Shillington, Pa., Whalen got to experience a museum from behind the scenes through an internship in summer 2017 at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, known as the Penn Museum. She secured the opportunity with the help of Susquehanna alumnus Tom Stanley '07, who she met at Break Through.

"During my own undergraduate career at SU, I did not seek out any internship opportunities—which, in retrospect, was a mistake," Stanley says. "Julianna approached me after a panel discussion at Break Through.

"I was impressed with her initiative. Her résumé was icing on the cake; she's a communications major with minors in anthropology and museum studies—a combination of emphases that could not possibly be a better fit for an internship in my office."

In summer 2018, Whalen returned to intern in the marketing and communications department at the Penn Museum. 

"I thought I learned a lot during my first internship, but I learned even more the second summer," Whalen says. "Throughout the entire summer, we were given real responsibilities and were encouraged to share our thoughts and ideas during office meetings."

She oversaw social media posts, fielded questions regarding the closing of the Sphinx gallery during a building transformation project, and even spoke with media.

"Stanley continues to be the best mentor I could have ever asked for, and I cannot encourage Susquehanna students enough to attend Break Through, visit the Career Development Center and connect with our alumni," Whalen says.

She plans to pursue a career in museum communications.

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