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Mastering Internal Communications at the Guggenheim
Alumna Lauren Lake JMS‘23 is learning about brand identity and web design as an Internal Communications Intern at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
Now post-grad, Lake shares her recipe for career success: “If you follow your passions and take advantage of all the opportunities SC&I offers, you will find happiness and success in your work life.”

“If you asked kindergarten Lauren what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have answered, ‘a writer,’” said Lake. “I switched my major three times before following my heart to Journalism and Media Studies. After excelling in JMS courses, I decided to continue studying what I was interested in rather than what I thought I was supposed to do or was most practical, which led me to pursue the Minor in International and Global Studies (MIGS) in the Department of Geography and Art History.”

Her education and experiences in these fields helped her land a coveted internship at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

As the Internal Communications intern, Lake said her “main project is to redesign the staff Intranet website onto a new platform, which is a great experience because I work with about 30 different departments to determine their communication needs.” She is also responsible for creating the bi-weekly staff newsletter, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEAI) newsletter, and the Sustainability newsletter.

Lake’s eventual career goal centers on working in public relations for either a cultural institution or media outlet. She is also considering returning to school. “I find the intersection of culture, politics, and media fascinating, so I would love to get another degree to do research and, ultimately, teach at a university level,” she said.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City Lake said her previous work experience has all been externally focused, while at Guggenheim, her internship is internally focused. “I have been learning a lot about how brand identity starts from within, even in the smallest details, like what font you choose for a newsletter. I also have no web design experience, so I have learned much by making the Staff Intranet site.”

Her past internship experiences include her role at as a News Writing Intern for the SC&I Communications and Marketing office directed by Brenda Sheridan, Ed.D. She said her experience in that position taught her how to write for a brand — a skill she said she has transferred to her current internship at the Guggenheim. The biggest lesson she learned as a SC&I intern, she said, was “making the brand speak louder than the author.”

Lake says that her many experiences at SC&I all taught her how to think creatively and critically. “[These] are important skills in any field, especially now when being cross-culturally competent is a top priority for many organizations.” 

To name a few of the other experiences Lake benefitted from while at SC&I, she said the Writing for Cultural Criticism course taught by Roxane Gay, the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies, “completely changed” how she interacts with everything, ranging from romance novels to paintings.

“I first read Dr. Gay’s ‘Bad Feminist’ in high school, so it was incredible to be taught by one of the great feminists and writers of our time,” Lake said.

Lake also participated in the JMS study abroad program in Bologna, Italy, another “amazing opportunity,” she said, that trained her in international reporting. 

The internal communications internship at the Guggenheim is mostly in-person. Lake says Fridays are designated Museum Culture Seminar days for all the interns. The museum invites guest speakers from various departments at the Guggenheim to presesnt, and at these events the interns are also given the opportunity to network with interns from other art museums in NYC. 

Lake said she found the posting for this internship while “doom scrolling” online — a pastime many college students can relate to. She decided to apply because she loves art and was intrigued about working in the city. 

“I enjoy being surrounded by incredible works of art and people who are passionate about the [Guggenheim]. The environment is wonderful because there are many opportunities for staff to be involved with the art, even if their jobs are more administrative,” Lake said.

Learn more about the Journalism and Media Studies Department on the Rutgers School of Communication and Information website.

Photos: Courtesy of Lauren Lake JMS'23.




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