When April Cowan arrived at Missouri Western, she knew she wanted to enter the field of museum curation. What she didn’t know was how to make that dream a reality. Without the ability to major in art history, Cowan was not sure how to begin her journey toward her dream career. After working with her advisor, she discovered that she could pursue a general studies major by combining two minors into studies that fit her goals. She chose to combine art history and a customized minor.
The art history minor provides Cowan with the background she needs for the art aspect of curation. By imagining a second customized minor, Cowan is able to integrate the business knowledge that is necessary to keep museums running. “My advisor is also an art history teacher, so she knows what classes I need to prepare for that career field,” Cowan said. “I’m definitely 100 percent happy with it.”
Cowan was able to spend a summer interning with St. Joseph Museums. This internship allowed her to learn about the details that go into running a museum. “Because they’re a small museum, I got to sit in on a lot more than what I originally went there to learn,” she said. “I got to learn about the business side of running a museum, which I had never really thought about.” Cowan was able to attend board meetings, work in the archives, lead tours and even teach groups of kids about the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
“Talking to people [on campus] about what I want to do, I feel like I am in such a good place,” Cowan said. “Without those people [that I have met on campus] I don’t think I would be where I am now.”