Tell me about your experience interning this past summer at the Smithsonian.
Well, I interned at the National Postal Library and the Archives of American Art. I had been accepted to something called Behind the Scenes Volunteer Program. You apply to the program, and once you are accepted, they place you in an internship somewhere in the Washington, DC area. Sometimes they give you a choice of internships – I was given a choice – but sometimes they don’t. While interning, I organized archival collections, cataloged artifacts, assisted microfilm users with their research and with the machines, and transcribed oral history interviews.
I did it to try to get some experience in the field, to try to figure out what direction I wanted to go once I graduate. I really enjoyed it – I plan on doing some sort of conservation or curatorial work after college.
Do you have any recommendations for other History majors?
Don’t be afraid of being a History major. I was worried that I could only get a teaching job if I majored in History, but that’s not true. A lot of jobs require a History major; you just need to look around. History is important. You can love it but not necessarily have to teach it.