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Margreta van Kammen did her placement at the Drents Museum in Assen (The Netherlands)

How did you go about finding a placement?

It’s important to work out what kind of company you’re looking for and what you’re interested in. I wanted to do a placement in a museum that had an art collection dating back to around the 19th century, so I had a look round to see which museums qualified. I finally opted for the Drents Museum. There were no vacancies announced on the site, but I sent an open application anyway. I got an answer quite quickly and was asked to come for an interview. We discussed our expectations and the aim of the placement, and I was asked to start practically straight away.

What did you learn during your placement? Why would you advise other students to do a placement?

I learned all about being a museum curator and what the job entails. There are so many things to consider, things that would never occur to you. I helped with a project compiling exhibitions and learned to write different sorts of texts, particularly exhibition texts and articles. I also learned a lot from the work that went on in the depot, where you get really close to very valuable art. In addition, documenting works of art in the Adlib system was an important part of this job. Students should do a placement because it’s an opportunity to gain practical experience in a world that may become yours after you graduate. As well as this, doing a placement is the perfect way to find out what you’d like to do later.

Margreta van Kammen
Margreta van Kammen

What did you enjoy most about your placement?

To me, the best part was handling works of art in the depot. You’re not usually allowed to touch the art in a museum, but in the depot, you take works of art out of a drawer or off the shelf and have time to inspect them in much greater detail. I also really enjoyed compiling my own mini-exhibition about Jan Sluijters’ works on paper. I did my own background research and chose which works I wanted the public to see. I wrote the texts for the exhibition and decided what I wanted to say. I was also very grateful for the being given the chance to write two articles for Grafiekwereld, one of which has already been published. The other is awaiting publication.

What are your tips for a placement?

If you set your heart on a placement somewhere, get in touch and don’t take no for an answer! Even if there aren’t any formal vacancies, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s no room for a student. It’s important to find a placement in an organization where you feel comfortable, one that interests you. Once you’ve found your placement, go for it 100%. It’s up to you to make the most of a placement; it’s only as good as you make it. Always ask if there’s anything else you can do, as this sometimes opens doors that wouldn’t otherwise be open to you. Finally: do a placement!

Last modified:24 July 2018 11.17 a.m.
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