Rory Keeley ’17 envisions her life’s work as combining her study of mathematics with a passion for art. Chasing that dream has helped open the door to a summer position with one of the largest and most highly regarded art museums in the world.
Keeley, who hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, will spend ten weeks this summer as the market research intern for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“My primary responsibilities will include data analysis and modeling that will turn audience-based data into actionable results for the museum,” she explained. “I will also be using my skills in statistical analysis to inform the museum’s future vision.
“This internship blends the fields of mathematics and art history and will allow me to gain invaluable experience for future career opportunities.”
Keeley’s upcoming internship at The Met builds upon her already impressive exposure to the museum world. She served as the curatorial office and human resources intern at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and also worked as the advancement intern at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond.
“Working in development at the VMFA was made possible by a Hollins alumna and one of my professors. I was able to acquire skills using math in a way that applies to the art world, but I wanted more experience. After some amazing guidance and encouragement from my advisors at Hollins, I applied to The Met.”
Keeley soon faced a happy dilemma: She also applied for a development internship at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and wound up with offers from both The Met and The Guggenheim. Again, she called upon her advisors to help her consider her options and determine which museum would be a better fit. In the end, she and her advisors decided that The Met presented an internship department, program, and growth opportunities that coincided with her aspirations.
“I cannot thank Hollins enough for fostering my ambition to pursue such unique career goals and giving me the support to fulfill that ambition,” she said. “Without the opportunities and connections I have at Hollins, I would never have been able to make this internship at The Met a reality.”
In addition to double-majoring in mathematics and statistics and art history at Hollins, Keeley is an Honors Program student and is earning her Certificate in Leadership Studies.