Bachelor of Interior Architecture
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago


I am working toward a Bachelor of Interior Architecture in spring of 2012. Over the past three years, I have become interested in subjects and mediums such as animation, digital and new media, and the sciences, specifically environmental chemistry and neurology.

About My Co-op Experience

I am currently interning at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) as an exhibit designer helping to develop a new permanent exhibit on nanotechnology. I work with an independent contractor/designer from Los Angeles, and the relationship feels like an apprenticeship. I have not ever felt as if the team is cutting me slack or not assigning me tasks because I am still a student; they have put complete trust and confidence in my ability to contribute to the project.

I work along with the team doing everything from formulating concepts for individual interactives and the entire exhibit; translating concepts into physical forms that educate patrons through interactive learning; creating models, mock-ups, and content packages for presentations; to designing details and schematics and everything in between.

What I Learned from My Co-op Experience

My Co-op internship taught me the importance of collaboration and finding one’s strengths and the strengths of others in order to go about a project in the most efficient and effective way possible. I also learned a great deal about the funding process and how to work within a budget. Having a limited amount of money can sometimes present an opportunity for creative solutions.

It has been nothing but inspirational. I have taken an interest in science and started to think about how I could possibly take a path toward educational exhibit design professionally. Comparing how I felt before this internship to how I feel now is an easy task. I feel confident now that I will be able to go out into the world and start my professional career. I have acquired the knowledge and skills to deal with issues such as budgeting and creating projects that are financially plausible. In many ways this internship has helped me to build my professional work ethic, and I can already see the benefits of this within my work.

My advice to other students is to know your strengths and emphasize how you can be an asset to your employer as an intern. Make yourself stand out as an individual. Defining your identity as an artist is crucial to your success.

About the Employer

MSI is one of the largest science centers in the world, housing more than 35,000 artifacts and world-class exhibits designed to inspire the inventive genius in the 175 million guests who have visited the museum since it opened in 1933.

About SAIC Co-op Internship Conversations

School of the Art Institute (SAIC) students share their co-op internship experience and what valuable insights they learned along the way.


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.