During the first semester of her junior year, Jodi was studying psychology but realized she was pursuing the wrong major. “I had two years until I finished college and felt I had wasted one semester already,” she says, “When my professors learned about my concern, they immediately helped craft a course plan that worked for me and I thought it was amazing. I took that experience to heart and strive to be a source of advice and help to others no matter what the situation.”
As a senior, Jodi took a class called “Intro to Museum Methods” as an elective. “It was a real eye-opener for me,” she says. “From the first day, everything made sense and I considered it a viable career choice.”
Searching for a way to get more museum experience, she found an opportunity to intern/volunteer with the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. With that position, she assisted with public events and cataloguing objects in a curatorial department.
She worked for a year then attended the University of Iowa. She then became a volunteer for the State Historical Society of Iowa branch in Iowa City, cataloguing the small artifact collection. Jodi received a master’s degree in U.S. History. “By the end of the year, I was working in Des Moines for the State Historical Society,” she says. “Initially, I was hired to help move the museum collection into a new building. Later I was promoted to registrar.”
Jodi believes that her education helped her develop the ability to deconstruct a potentially chaotic situation. “I feel this is something I do often in my position as a museum registrar,” she says. “When it comes to figuring something out, a lot of my confidence in what I do and how I do it comes from a stellar grounding in what I learned at Luther. I believe this is the short answer to ‘What does the liberal arts teach a student?’”
A museum registrar manages information about a museum’s collection, including transactions and activities involving objects in the collection or in temporary custody.
If you have your life figured out, great. If you don’t, that’s even better. College is a time of balance, doing what’s needed to advance while trying on the personas of what you can be.