July 27, 2016
Upon declaring her art history major at Susquehanna University, Kathleen Farrell ’16 was initially unsure what her career options might be. After pairing her art history major with a second major in international studies and three internships, Farrell is now well on her way to a career in fine art.
Farrell is currently in her fourth internship, this one postgraduate, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, in the Department of Foundation Giving. Here, she handles grant writing and archives materials and drafts donor-related correspondence.
“All of this will give me a deeper insight and understanding into the day-to-day functions of development in a large-scale museum and educational institution,” Farrell said.
Prior to The Met, Farrell interned at the Slifer House Museum, a Victorian house museum in Lewisburg, Pa.; Spazio Nuovo, a contemporary art gallery in Rome, Italy; and The Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) in Soho, New York City. At each organization, Farrell did a little bit of everything, from planning benefit events to expanding donor networks.
“Interning in Rome really gave me a taste of what it’s like working abroad, and I loved it,” she said. “Not to mention I was able to practice my Italian and was almost fluent by the time I left!”
Farrell credits this varied experience, as well as excellent mentoring from Ashley Busby, assistant professor of art, with helping her land her coveted position at The Met.
Working her way from one position to the next, at increasingly larger museums, has allowed her to incrementally build her skill set. She hopes she will soon be able to challenge her knowledge of international trade gained through her international studies coursework.
“Sotheby’s and Christie’s would be my ultimate goal,” she said. “I’m also not ruling out jobs abroad. I think your early-20s are the perfect time to explore while you aren’t committed to anything, and I love a challenge.”