An internship is an excellent opportunity for a student to apply knowledge gained through course work in public history and in history courses to a hands-on work experience. Through internships, students may also identify careers that they would like to pursue. The goals of an internship are:
- To learn more about the public history field. Students may pursue internships to determine which aspects of public history work best match their own interests and talents. The intern will be exposed to ethical issues in the field and will learn more about the broad range of knowledge and skills that are required in various sectors of this field.
- To develop and hone skills in public history for future employment, from museum interpretation and registration to grantwriting or archives arrangement or description. Public history internships offer practical work experience that prepares students for careers. Students can list internships as work experience on their resumes. Sometimes, internship positions may even lead into part-time or full-time work.
- To interact with and learn from other public historians in a work setting. Internships offer students the opportunity to network with other public history professionals. The professionals with whom interns work may become valuable sources of information for students in their careers and these individuals may also help students obtain jobs.
Internship sponsors view an intern as they would one of their own employees. Interns should return the respect of their employer and consider an internship as they would a job experience. Interns are expected to abide by the policies of their sponsor, to report to their work as determined by the internship sponsor, to complete the work assigned to them according to the schedule agreed upon by the sponsor and student, and to act professionally at all times. Interns represent the university and their conducts reflects upon the university and the history department. Your success ensures that opportunities may be available to students from our school in the future; if you are not successful, the sponsor may chose not to accept another intern from our institution. Therefore, we expect you to be a good ambassador for our program.
In the past student interns have worked for local historical societies as well as national and state parks. Locally several students have interned at Fort Humboldt State Historic Park. One unit internships consist of 45 hours of documented work with the organization, a journal and an agreed upon project with the sponsoring organization.
Contact Dr. Mays if you have questions.