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‘The No. 1 predictor of Student Career Success’

March 10, 2014
Karissa Kessen

Karissa Kessen

NIU President Doug Baker makes his thoughts on internships abundantly clear.

“Research tells us that the No. 1 predictor of Student Career Success isn’t a student’s major or grades. Rather, it comes down to this: Did the student complete an internship, preferably a paid internship, during college?” Baker said during his November inaugural address.

“We need to ensure that every student who seeks an internship will get one.”

NIU junior Karissa Kessen is already there.

Kessen is the recipient of Naper Settlement’s Powell Museum Studies internship for 2014. The 16-week internship from January to April offers practical museum training experience to individuals interested in pursuing a career in the museum field.

“I never thought I’d have this opportunity to not only expand my knowledge of collections management, but to also learn about education in a museum environment,” Kessen said. “I see this internship as being a cornerstone to my museum education.”

A history major with a minor in anthropology, the University Honors Program student first volunteered at the NIU Anthropology Museum in 2012 to help move the collections to the new location in Cole Hall. In January 2013, she became the first undergraduate collections assistant hired at the museum.

Naper Settlement logoDuring her internship at Naper Settlement, Kessen will work with two departments – Curatorial and Learning Experiences – to gain general knowledge and a broad experience of how the two departments function within the context of a major museum.

She is cataloging objects for the Curatorial Department and will be installing an exhibit at Naperville Bank and Trust. She also is helping the Learning Experiences Department with School’s Out programs, Camp Naper summer day camps and a social media project.

“We are thrilled to have found such a qualified and enthusiastic intern candidate in Karissa,” said Louise Howard, Naper Settlement’s chief curator. “She is fully embracing the internship opportunity and jumping right in with great passion to help the museum with many different curatorial and learning experiences projects.”