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Subject: Unpaid graduate internships

Unpaid graduate internships

From: Marc Walton <mwalton>
Date: Wednesday, January 21, 2004
I have been following this thread begun by Larry Shutts which is
related to an earlier debate begun by an anonymous poster
(Conservation DistList Instance: 16:60 Thursday, April 10, 2003).
Not to diminish from the well constructed, yet varied, points of
view on these matters of salary/employment, but it occurs to me that
much of what has been discussed is either anecdotal or very much
based on individual experience. Since I am among the numbers of
recent graduates from North American training programs, I can
commiserate with those individuals who have had difficulty making
ends meet on fellowship salaries in the first years of their
careers. However, four years out of a training program (at NYU), I
am currently in a "permanent" job with a relatively good starting
salary at one of America's premier museums. Not only this, but to
the best of my knowledge, all of my classmates are equally well
situated. Because of these facts of my own experience, I am truly
confused about the current state of the field. Is the field really
in such a dire state due to an over abundance of underpaid and
undervalued conservators floating from one fellowship to the next,
or, as I have suggested, is there light at the end of the tunnel for
those coming out of the training programs? I believe it is time for
these issues to be tackled by the American Institute for Conservation
in the form of a new salary/employment survey. With this survey in
hand, one might then be able to objectively level criticism and
suggest change.

Marc Walton
Associate Conservation Research Scientist
Los Angeles County Museum
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90036

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:51
                Distributed: Thursday, January 29, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-51-007
Received on Wednesday, 21 January, 2004

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