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Senior Jodi Spector of Stevenson, Md., spent part of her winter break gaining first-hand knowledge of the fields of public affairs and marketing during a unique experience at the Freer and Arthur M. Sackler galleries of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

A double major in art and economics & business, Spector spent Jan. 14-15 shadowing Barbara Fienberg Kram ‘84, head of public affairs and marketing at the Smithsonian Institution’s museum for Asian art, the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Kram’s duties include managing the museum staff and coordinating all of the publicity and marketing for the institution. Spector had the opportunity to attend various meetings, tour the different departments in the museum, give her input on a press release about a new exhibit, and attend a marketing committee session with Kram for the whole Smithsonian. She also went on a docent tour and got to hold a million dollar jade stone.

“I think Jodi really didn’t know a lot about what you could do as an art (history) major in a museum, short of being a curator. I think she realized ways to use her education that she hadn’t realized before,” says Kram, who was a psychology major at Lafayette.

“I learned that it takes a lot more to have a museum function than I thought,” says Spector. “Also, I want to work in a museum setting after I graduate, but I didn’t realize there were so many different departments involved. I saw that I had more career options [than I thought].” She says that seeing first-hand what goes on behind the scenes and talking with the heads of the departments was invaluable.

Kram says she chose to be an externship host because she loves her job, and she thought it would be a nice way to show a student around so they could get a sense of how a museum runs. She says of Spector, “She was just great, and I hope that we keep in contact during her career. She really absorbed a lot, and she represented Lafayette so well.”

Spector is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and has played women’s lacrosse.

She was one of 200 Lafayette students serving two- to five-day “externships” with Lafayette alumni and others who are seasoned professionals in business, the arts, education, healthcare, law, engineering, science, government, non-profits, and other fields. The students shadowed the professionals at their workplaces, learning about careers they may consider entering after college, developing professional networking contacts, and building their resumes.

Categorized in: Academic News