From S.F. to S.F. (Sioux Falls to San Francisco)

After an internship at a museum on campus, Sebastian Forbush, Augustana class of 2014, landed a position at the San Francisco 49ers Museum.

autumn/winter 2014

Sebastian Forbush ’14 went from interning with the Center for Western Studies while at Augustana to a post-graduation career as a museum educator at the brand-new 49ers Museum in San Francisco.

Levi’s Stadium, according to its website, is home to the new, 20,000 square-foot 49ers Museum. Through 11 galleries and exhibit spaces, the museum presents the 49ers past, present and future. The museum is dedicated to its values of education, innovation and heritage and is committed to serving as an exciting, engaging home for National Football League fans of all ages.

We caught up with Sebastian to learn more about his journey.

Q. What was your major at Augustana?

A. It took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to major in, but in my sophomore year, I finally decided on math and history. All of the professors in these disciplines were extremely encouraging and helped me schedule my classes so that I could graduate on time.

Q. What were you involved in?

A. I was heavily involved with Recreational Services, intramurals, and the Learn to Swim Program. In my sophomore year, I was promoted to the position of head lifeguard, a position that I held until I graduated. I also started a water polo club on campus.

Q. Did you always want to work for a museum?

A. I began to have the idea to work for a museum when I interned at the Center for Western Studies under Liz Thrond (collections assistant) and Dr. Harry Thompson (director). I worked there for over two years, and I enjoyed every second of it. Working there and seeing the inner workings of a museum and the day-to-day operations was so eye opening to me, and I began to think about a career in a museum.

Q. How did this job come about?

A. When I graduated from Augie in the spring, I had already been looking for jobs for a few months. There was a position open at the 49ers to work for their new museum and also to work as an educator. After I sent my application in, I was interviewed and quickly hired where I began to learn the long and storied history of the organization.

Q. What do you see yourself doing in the future?

A. In the future, I hope to go to graduate school and earn either my masters in library science, or a Ph.D. in American history. Then I hope to use that to become a curator in a museum or a professor of history.

Q. How did you use what you learned from Augustana to get to where you are now?

A. The first few weeks were filled with constant studying of the information and an attempt to try and glean as much as I could from the hordes of data that I was presented with. The studying and hard work paid off as we are now in the 11th week of the program and have already served more than 4,000 kids.

By the end of the year, we are on schedule to serve more than 21,000 students between kindergarten and eighth grade and another 1,500 high schoolers. I love the look that kids get on their faces when they first enter the stadium and I like to think that this field trip may someday influence them to make a decision they would not have made, or to work at something harder because of this trip.

I also like the fact that I am working with living history, and every day the history continues to grow, making new legends and heroes.