The “Golden V”

The Jewish Museum Berlin is honored with the prize for outstanding traineeships

This picture is a close-up of a golden, V-shaped trophy and the certificate naming the Jewish Museum Berlin as the winner of the prize.

V for Voluntariat; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: David Studniberg

Every year the Bundesvolontärstagung (BVT), a conference for trainees, takes place in a different German city . The BVT is the only national conference for trainees in museums, historical sites, and other cultural institutions. It provides a forum for presentations and discussions on museum-related topics, and also offers the opportunity for networking among trainees. This year, the junior museum employees met on March 1st and 2nd at the Museum Pedagogy Center in Munich.

For three years, the Golden V (for Volontariat, German for trainee) has been given at the BVT. It is an award that honors those institutions that provide an ideal environment for trainees. This year, the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Museum for Communication Frankfurt were presented with the prize.
We asked two of our trainees a few questions about their traineeship, as well as about the prize: 

Why did you decide to do a traineeship after graduating from university?

David: As a student, and also for a while afterwards, I worked as a tour guide in a museum. While there, I realized that museums spoke to many of my interests. That includes the domains of education and media, for example, which were also the focus of my studies. I especially like the fact that my traineeship gives me the opportunity to gain experience in many departments and to become familiar with a diverse array of projects and areas of activity.

Franziska: During my traineeship, I am mainly working in the restoration department of the Jewish Museum Berlin. The work there offers me the opportunity to deepen the knowledge I gained at university and at various museums, and to gain experience in the variety of things that happen in everyday life at the museum. And so I can strengthen my professional skills, and I gain the ability to make well-founded decisions in my next position, in order to carry out highly expert conservation and restoration efforts.

Do you think it’s important for trainees to form groups and meet each other?

Both: Definitely!

Franziska: At our museum, there are internal trainee gatherings, where questions and problems can be presented and discussed with our trainee representatives. In addition, I think it’s very important to already start building a network that I can draw on later in my professional life.

David: Conferences like the BVT or other gatherings with our trainee colleagues are hugely important. They offer us the chance to talk about the differing conditions at various institutions. That’s the only way we can initiate improvements and pass them on to the Traineeship Committee at the German Museums Asssociation (Deutscher Museumsbund). These proposals are then included in the process of further developing the “Guidelines for Expert Traineeships at Museums (in German)“.

The Jewish Museum Berlin won the Golden V this year—what makes a traineeship here so ideal?

Under a screen on which the Traineeship Committee congratulates the winners of the prize, Franziska and David hold the certificate up to the camera.

Two people enjoying the benefits of an awarded traineeship: Franziska Lipp und David Studniberg accept the certificate and trophy on behalf of the Jewish Museum Berlin at the BVT 2018; photo: Kerstin Dembsky

David: We were very happy about the prize, since we know that the Jewish Museum Berlin already fulfills many of the recommendations from the guidelines. In addition, the museum offers us conditions that other trainee colleagues can only dream of. For example, development days, our own budgets for continuing education, and the opportunity to take part in a several-months-long museum exchange program.

Franziska: I’m also very glad that it’s very important to our museum to be family friendly. For example, the Jewish Museum Berlin allows various part-time options for trainees with children, which is a great benefit for me. Similarly, it went without saying that our partners and children were also invited to our Chrismukkah party.

And now what happens after the award?

David: First we want to celebrate it a little. But that doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels, just the opposite. We’ve already received the feedback that our management sees this prize as a motivation to further improve traineeships here. The process of creating a standard curriculum for trainee education has already begun. This “educational plan” is intended to give future trainees the opportunity to gather experience in all of the museum’s core areas.
We think that’s great!

For more information (in German) on the topic of traineeships in museums, see:

As good museum nerds, Franziska Lipp and David Studniberg are already thinking about the long-term conservation of the Golden V award certificate, as an inspiration for generations of trainees to come.


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