Colugnatti Leaving OC for NYCJanuary 10, 2011 at 8:22 AM
Maria Colugnatti traded a big city for a small town 2 years ago when she arrived at Oakland City, Indiana. Beginning January 4, 2011, she returns to city life once again as she heads for New York City. After working with Oakland City University’s Career Services office, Maria has accepted an internship with the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Several years ago, Maria might not have dreamed she would be heading to New York to work at an art museum, and certainly not the Met. Having grown up in Buenos Aires in Argentina, she knew she wanted to study art of some sort. “I have always been artistic,” Maria explains, “and painting is my favorite.” She began her studies in art at the University of Palermo in Buenos Aires where she studied Industrial Design. She then spent a year at the National Institute of Fine Arts, studying Art Critique. Maria’s brother had journeyed to the U.S. and made his way to Oakland City. After some consideration, Maria decided to follow in his footsteps and come to OCU to study Graphic Design.
Two years and many art classes later, Maria was beginning to think about her upcoming graduation and what the future would hold for her. Her family encouraged her to think about completing an internship in her field to gain experience and open up new possibilities for her. She first met with Career Services in February of 2010 when she held an appointment with Kara Woolsey, Advisor for the department. As a part of OCU’s Senior Seminar class, Kara reviewed Maria’s resume and talked with her about her career options and plans. The two discussed internship possibilities, and Maria indicated she had previously worked in an Art Gallery back in Argentina. Kara then suggested Maria visit the Evansville Museum and see their regional art collection, and also proposed it would be a potential internship site for her as well. “I had visited the Evansville Museum just prior to meeting with Maria, and I had been impressed with their collection and the staff there. I had even discussed our internship program with several of their staff members,” says Woolsey.
At the end of the spring semester, Maria visited the Evansville Museum and talked with Liz Fuhrman-Bragg, the Registrar for the museum. The two hit it off and Maria was hired as an intern for the coming fall semester where she would assist with exhibit installations, condition reporting, and enter data into the museum’s collection-tracking software. It is this internship that Maria feels paved her way to NYC: “I wanted a chance to work in a museum again to make sure I enjoyed it and it would be right for me. I definitely think my internship at Evansville is what got me this position (with the Met),” Maria explains.
Towards the close of her internship at Evansville and her final semester at OCU, Maria submitted applications and essays for extended internship positions with the Met, the Guggenheim, and the Museum of Modern Art. Brittany Fulkerson, Career Coach at OCU, worked with Maria during the application process and helped proofread essays for her. Maria interviewed with the Met while visiting her sister over Thanksgiving break in NYC, and received word of the job offer during her last week of classes in December. She happily accepted and began working out plans to live with her sister while completing her internship.
Maria will be joining one of the most prestigious and famous museums in the United States and the world. In her position, she will work in the Registrar’s Office and have very similar responsibilities as her position in Evansville. Although the position is unpaid, Maria is sure it will provide her with numerous opportunities to network with art professionals and potentially secure a full-time job in the future. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located on 5th Avenue in Central Park. According to the museum’s website, nearly five million people visit the Met each year.