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December 7, 2021

NetworkMy internship experience at ICOM Secretariat Office in Paris – Minamo Akiyama

Hello! Salut! Hola! こんにちは!

My name is Minamo Akiyama. I am from Japan, 24 years old and pursuing an MA degree in Sustainable Heritage Management at Aarhus University in Denmark.

I have been doing a full-time internship with the Capacity Building Department at the ICOM secretariat office in Paris for this semester. In this short article, I would like to briefly share my experience!

There are several international capacity building/museum training projects organised simultaneously by the department as well as daily tasks and a variety of joint projects, many of which I have been able to participate in.

One of the biggest projects that I helped with was the launch of ICOM’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Creating Meaningful and Inclusive Museum Practices. I felt a great sense of achievement being part of the team when the course was recently published on the Future Learn platform after countless meetings, legal document works, adjustments in contents, etc. I also took part in the training programme on disaster risk management with participants from the Caribbean region. My main task was to give technical support during the online training sessions. Most of the preparatory meetings and all sessions were conducted in French, which encouraged me to improve my language skills. Furthermore, I have developed a study on museology training programmes in Africa and South / Southeast Asia as a base for future projects. I was very pleased to work on this research project with my Asian background.

Dealing with multiple projects and tasks at the same time, I acquired practical experience in international project management and in prioritizing multiple tasks. Moreover, I have been privileged to witness the ongoing international discussions on subjects such as the museum definition, sustainability, the Covid-19 pandemic, digitalisation, and much more. My academic interests in museum and heritage studies have been greatly developed, and I could regard them as matters in the real world, outside of the university lecture rooms and webinars.

Lastly, I must say that I am very grateful for the wonderful people I met through the internship, and I would like to thank everyone for supporting me through this precious experience. My colleagues always gave me appropriate supervision (and often funny jokes), which made me confident in working on assigned tasks and comfortable enough to ask questions. Thanks to the very kind, friendly, and respectful colleagues, I never felt being left out at the office. Also, I appreciate very much ICOM committees and professionals from all over the world, who welcomed me to join different projects and meetings.

I am sure this special internship will be an asset for the rest of my MA study and my career path in the future. I hope to see you again in different settings, somewhere in the world!

Minamo Akiyama

…Also, thank you very much for reading my report!

I was a volunteer at the ICOM Kyoto 2019, and Today I am an intern at the ICOM secretariat office!