In the spring of 2017, Kendall Burkins, 19, began thinking about his academic and professional goals. Kendall was a mechanical engineering major but wanted to pursue a more creative career path. This led him to switch his major to product design and apply for a summer internship at Sydney’s Art Gallery of New South Wales. The internship was offered by the Office of the Vice President for the Arts and the Stanford Global Studies Internship Program. Kendall hoped that the internship would give him the much-needed mentorship and experience to pursue a career in design.
At the end of the spring quarter, Kendall headed to Australia. The Art Gallery is centrally located and is near the famous Sydney Opera House overlooking the Sydney Harbor. He would walk to work every day as he lived a few blocks away from the museum.
For the next 10 weeks, Kendall worked closely with museum staff, curators, and designers planning exhibitions and art shows. He observed them collaborating and implementing design concepts and finding the best ways to assemble artwork in a given space. The first points in the process were the curators whose job were to research artwork and make a plan to present it.
Next in line was the design team who work together to bring to life the curators plan. Kendall helped with building foam core models of the exhibition spaces of the gallery. The curators would use these models to plan art shows. He also helped in the exhibition called “Space Makers and Room Shakers” by installing two works of art.
As per the Stanford News, one of the art pieces Kendall worked on was the “Atomic: Full of love, full of wonder”, created by the artist Nike Savvas. The artwork display comprised of several colored vibrating balls suspended in the air.
Kendall and another intern also conducted a project on user experience to understand visitors’ reaction to the physical spaces inside the museum. They created and conducted surveys and documented trends in the activities of the guests through observation and production of heat maps. They had to create renderings and make a final presentation including the results and recommendations. Kendall received a positive feedback from the museum staff and by the end of his internship, they were even thinking of implementing some of his recommendations.
Every summer many students of Stanford extend their classroom experience to cultural, immersive, and professional experience abroad through the Stanford Global Studies Internship Program. This program is open to all major students and the base stipend offered is $6000. There are numerous opportunities spanning diverse fields like media, business, technology, public service, law, policy, engineering, medicine, and human rights. The students can enroll in an internship program in 23 locations across the world.
The art internships are some of the most popular and newest opportunities in the program. Stanford will announce a list of all opportunities for summer 2019 in December and will start accepting applications in January.
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