Cheryl Tolentino

This summer I’ve been the Multicultural Undergraduate Intern in Getty Publications. While my background is in business and information technology, I’ve loved learning about the intersection between that and the arts!

My project: Gathering and manipulating data to turn it into a dynamic, complete, and user-friendly repository for managing metadata on Getty Publications projects. Currently, I’m building a website to help publication editors get started with GitHub, a version-control system that will streamline the content production process.

I’m also gathering research on copyright for a handful of books that will help Getty Publications make decisions on how best to expand and enhance the Virtual Library. As publishing is moving toward the digital age, there is a push to creating content that is both dynamic and stimulating; I am so excited to see how that all unfolds at the Getty.

My background is: …not in the arts field. I’m actually a business administration major at Marshall School of Business at USC. My main interest is in data science and information technology. As one of the only Multicultural Undergraduate Interns without an arts background, I was constantly learning about the field from my peers and mentors. It has been amazing to be completely immersed in all things art for the past ten weeks – like a whirlwind art history course!

My most memorable experience: I had the opportunity to attend the culminating seminar of a digital art history workshop at UCLA, supported by the Getty Foundation, that was intended to advance the digital humanities through new techniques for art historical research and preservation with metadata, data visualization, etc.

Throughout the day I got the chance to speak with different professors, art historians, and curators about possible future career opportunities in the digital humanities and how this shift toward digital will affect the art community. The guest lecturers emphasized the importance of digitization in order to preserve, promote, and enhance our understanding of cultural and artistic histories. I am impressed by the Getty’s ambitious content digitization for the Open Content Program. Providing free content in a useful context will enhance interdisciplinary communication and allow for new, exciting research.

Memorable moment of the summer: After the Arts Summit for all 106 Getty interns, we took a group photo for the 15 Getty Center and Getty Villa interns. After a few minutes of trying to take a serious photo, we finally got a photo that captured our true personalities.

Group photo of 2015 Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Interns

My secret talent: I can write in the ancient Philippine script of Baybayin.

Best advice for future interns: Don’t be afraid to talk to anyone! Ask questions early and often. You’d be surprised about how many people are happy and eager to share their experiences.

Internship in three words: Metadata meets art.