OMA 2019 Student Scholarship Blog - Jacqueline Patrice Hudson

The Ohio Museums Association is committed to connecting and empowering museum professionals at all stages of their career — including our student and emerging museum professionals!

For our 2019 OMA Annual Conference, OMA was very proud to offer students seeking careers in the museum field, scholarships to attend OMA 2019 in Akron.

With their unique experience as students heading into the museum field, we wanted to hear from our scholarship recipients about the OMA conference from their perspective.

Below, scholarship winner Jacqueline Patrice Hudson shares her 2019 conference experience.  Ms. Hudson is a second-year doctoral student in the American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University and a Candidate in the graduate certificate program in Public History. Jacqueline is a past intern at the Hancock Historical Museum in Findlay, Ohio and a summer '19 Intern at the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, Tennessee.

OMA 2019 - Informative and Productive

My participation as a first-time attendee at the Ohio Museums Association conference in Akron, Ohio on April 14th and April 15th, 2019 was nothing short than informative and productive.

I had the pleasure to meet and network with fellow current and emerging museum professionals and discovered that we had mutual colleagues in the field. It was also a humbling experience to meet other students in the field. On Sunday, I went to a session to see a short presentation on conservation and sat in on a session about understanding the challenges of community development in arts and culture.

It was also great to go on a museum tour later that evening to connect with others in a different space. Plus, the Akron Museum of Art and the Stan Hywet and Gardens were two great venues to explore and discover material culture from the past and present. One of the highlights is that we experienced 3 different weather changes which included an evacuation to a tornado shelter at the Akron Museum of Art. Needless to say, we got the chance to get to know each other really well. I quite enjoyed the awards dinner later that Sunday night. Both the awards dinner and the Cleveland Emerging Museum Professionals reception turned out to be very fruitful. I practiced my networking skills to speak with other professionals who I did not know as well and other students from other institutions across the state. I felt that I accomplished at lot and it was only the first day!

The second (and final) day was just as productive. I attended sessions that I thought I might not have originally thought would be beneficial to my professional needs, but I came to realize that all of them would be helpful in the curatorial affairs sector of the museum field. The assessment in the cross-training made me realized that I am going to need to be well-rounded in my job skill set. I also need to have the ability to reach out to diverse communities and to find out ideas to increase audience engagement. Both of these issues were covered in different sessions on that Monday. I did not think about these two issues before, but I am glad that I was able to make both sessions to learn more. The highlight of the second day was to attend a roundtable discussion to talk about “what do museum really look for when hiring or I have a museum degree…now what?” The moderator was very helpful in giving me advice about how to approach my job search once I am ready to push that button. I felt a bit better about my future in the museum industry after having that conversation with her.

As I reflect on my experience as I drove back to Bowling Green on Monday, I felt accomplished of utilizing the activities during the Ohio Museums Association conference and I am thankful for the generous donors who contributed to the student scholarship fund which allowed me to go for free. More importantly, I received a lot of information about the museum industry that I hope I will use in my future career in curatorial affairs. If I could give any advice to a student who is thinking about going to OMA conference, please apply for the student scholarship and attend. You will find out a lot of useful information. I hope to go back to OMA conference 2020 in Cincinnati!