Internship Experience Stories
Christopher Ford: Museum of History and Holocaust Education
My name is Christopher Ford, and I worked at the Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History & Holocaust Education (MHHE) as a Digital Intern. My primary duties included interviewing members of the staff, participating in a monthly book club, transcribing oral history interviews featuring World War II veterans, home front workers, & Holocaust survivors, creating accessibility documents, and creating a 30-minute lesson plan for educating students participating in the MHHE’s Homeschool Days.
Someone who may be interested in an internship with the MHHE would be one who wishes to pursue a career in museums, archival work, public service, and/or curatorial work. Additionally, anyone who is perhaps unsure what to pursue career-wise post-graduation with an Anthropology degree can look to the MHHE as a way to test the waters in the museum, curatorial, & archival field.
Willam Frye: History Cherokee
My internship was at History Cherokee, previously the Cherokee County Historical Society, where I worked as a Museum Technician/Exhibition Curator intern. I worked to provide contextual research for one of their Native American collections; specifically providing data for their lithic artifacts and designing a public exhibit about archaeology and lithic construction methods using artifacts I researched. The anthropology program at KSU provided me guidance through courses like Southeastern Indians where I learned about the details of pre-colonial and post-colonial Native American histories. The courses Archaeological Methods and Anthropological Theory provided me vital analysis methods for documenting artifacts and theoretical frameworks that aided my perspective and organizational analysis. Dr. Teresa Raczek taught the course Heritage and Conflict which greatly influenced my understanding and perspective of how heritage is shaped by a society and how an individual connects with their own heritage. The public history program led by Dr. Jennifer Dickey gave me the tools to craft a public history exhibition and the critical analysis needed to make a public exhibit more accessible. I would recommend this internship to anyone who can work on a meticulous and detail-oriented project, has ambition to create and shape public history, and does not mind working alone in a room full of artifacts.
Khaz Brooks: Wolf Park
In the spring semester of 2021 I served as an education intern for Wolf Park, a zoological non-profit located in Battle Ground, Indiana that focuses on public education surrounding humans and wildlife. As an education intern my primary duty was to serve as a docent to the public, administering private and public lectures, tours, and specialized presentations to patrons of the organization. My interests were directed at creating program content that explained the context for contemporary conflicts with wildlife, drawing attention to the cultural, religious, and sociopolitical underpinnings of our relationships to wild animals in the United States.
During my internship I created three distinct programs for the facility, applying holistic and cross-cultural anthropology perspectives, as well as research methods learned from undergraduate coursework. I worked alongside two board-certified Applied Behavior Analysts to create a research study to objectively measure the efficacy of Wolf Park’s programming. The research is set to be published in 2022, and I will be listed as a co-author. Wolf Park offers a multitude of opportunities for anthropology interns, but is especially suited for those interested in anthrozoology, ethnobiology, or conservation and nonprofit sectors. The organization is flexible with intern objectives and offers onsite housing for interns year-round.
Morgan Bendzinski: Archives and Bentley Rare Book Museum
I worked at Kennesaw State University’s Archives and Bentley Rare Book Museum as an intern. The internship allowed me to explore local history and curation. My primary duties included shadowing the archivists’ and special collections curator while reinforcing what I learned through assignments. The internship is tailored to the interests of the intern and gives students opportunities to learn new skills. The internship is organized into two-week units where you learn the innerworkings of the Archives and Bentley. For example, one unit was analyzing Native American texts from the Bentley to create an outreach deliverable. I chose to create exhibition panels on the Cherokee Pheonix newspaper in response to the Indian removal act and current Native American authors. I would recommend this internship to students who are interested in any area of anthropology but especially those also interested in history. When I was deciding to do an internship, I had already completed a practicum and needed more credits for related studies in Degree works. I highly recommend doing both, an internship and practicum, to gain experience and explore the many different paths that the Anthropology major has to offer.
Ally Troy: PBS Internship Explores Media and the American Experience
(December 16, 2020) - When the year began, I – like everyone else in the world – had no clue where it would take me. As we entered January, I was very hopeful in what the new year would bring me and was ready to dedicate the time and effort in finishing my last year in school. After coming back from a successfully planned trip to Europe for a close friend who also had graduated from Kennesaw in the fall, I had the motivation to get through the next two semesters, graduate, and transition into a new phase of my life and career. I had my course schedule set for the spring 2020 semester and was excited to learn for my last semester of fall 2020, I would only need to take a couple of anthropology courses and an internship. Since it was only January, I decided that I didn’t need to worry about finding an internship at that moment and I had time to find one for the upcoming semester. But little did I know that the state of the world would be flipped entirely in just a matter of weeks that would affect everyone including me.
By the mid-point of the spring 2020 semester, the conditions of the country and the world was drastically changed, and the new way of life began to bring challenges for everyone. Seemingly overnight, we went from a normally functioning world, to a world that was experiencing a global pandemic that left majority of the population to quarantine in their homes for an undetermined amount of time. This lockdown required many non-essential businesses to close down and large institutions to also shut down to keep people from spreading and contracting the virus. As expected, Kennesaw decided to close their doors for the rest of the semester, leaving all the students and faculty to facilitate school via online. At this time, regarding my next semester, I was still confident I would take my classes and find an internship by the start of August, if the world would ever get there. So, I went through the rest of the spring semester dealing with the transition to online school and guaranteeing good grades while enjoying the extended stay at home. Once I finished the semester with acceptable grades and realized I had the summer off, I decided to focus on working and relaxing through a time of global uncertainty.
But as I entered the last half of the summer, the simmering heat of responsibility began to rise as August was approaching us. By this time, I knew I had to start looking for an internship since it would be a lengthy process of searching, applying, going through the acceptance process and then registering it with Kennesaw. The only problem was that due to the unexpected lockdown, most of the institutions I initially wanted to apply for were closed for in person contact and was unsure of when they would be open. Because of my major, I originally searched for internships that were focused on anthropological work such as museum positions to do various jobs such as archiving, historical research, and curating. But since all of the positions were located in public institutions, I begin to feel hopeless as I received emails from applied positions explaining that their location was closed, and it was unknown when they would be opening back up for the public as well as the staff. The frustration and stress to find an internship during a global shut down resulted in me spending countless hours on handshake and other internship-finding platforms, scrolling through positions that met the expectations of myself, the school, and the no-contact state of the world.
With my handshake updated and minutes away from falling asleep, I decided to end one of my nights in early August by scroll through handshake and quickly apply for things that piqued my interest. By this time, the roles I were looking for changed from my original plans, and I was now looking for positions that were remote and involved work in either non-profit organizations or media. In my anthropology courses, since I always had an interest in cultural anthropology, specifically ethnography, I decided that I could look into finding a position in the media entertainment field that required a lot of culture and historic research for content creation or media production. With this in mind, I immediately stopped scrolling when I saw the position of “Outreach Production Intern” for an unheard company called RadicalMedia LLC and because it said I met all the requirements, I decided to look more into it since I had nothing else going for me.
As I started reading what the role would involve, I began to get curious as to why and how this opportunity fell into my lap. The overview of the role immediately began with asking if anyone was interested in storytelling and helping this company tell the stories of Americans across the country. After this, it informed the reader that the intern would be involved in the outreach productions of a new internet and tv special called American Portrait, and the intern’s job would include reaching out to people from across the country and get them to participate for the special, as well as other roles such as editing and content production. The more I read into the description, the giddier I was becoming. I had finally found an internship that looked promising from every aspect, and all it required was for me to apply for it. That night I sent in my application and hoped I would get a response in the following days.
While waiting for a response, I decided to do some research on the company that I had recently applied for. Upon looking at the RadicalMedia website, I realized that I stumbled onto something unheard of and extremely amazing. Of course, RadicalMedia was a media production company, but I had no idea what type of media they actually produced. But by looking at the website, it seemed that RadicalMedia had produced everything and anything. They had work with major fashion corporations like Nike, Adidas, Vans, collaboration work with celebrities and Google products, music videos, documentaries on National Geographic, helped with the production of the internationally known Broadway show of Hamilton and even created a heartwarming ad for Dial soap that I had seen on tv weeks before. The list of their work was endless and unmatched and by this point, I was dying for them to accept my application. And not long after looking into the company, I got an email from Steve S., one of the Intern supervisors informing me that he had looked over my application and wanted to set up an interview to talk more. Hearing this, all of the stress that built over the course of the unpredicted past months were wildling away, each day.
In my interview with Steve, he began by asking me why I had applied for the position and why it interested me. I explained to him that being an anthropology major had caused me to love ethnographic practices such as storytelling and documentaries, and ethnographic journalism for media productions was a role I recently found out existed and wanted to learn more. After a quick conversation about why producers at RadicalMedia wanted students that were involved in social science fields like anthropology and entertainment fields like film for their new project, Steve began talking about the project the interns would be working on. The production was called American Portrait, and it was a collaborated project with RadicalMedia and PBS to conduct informal interviews with Americans from across the country about what it was like to be an American today. The project would involve people creating media content such as videos, photos and writings to answer prompts of various humanistic topics like community, work, family, and social issues, and for interns, we would essentially be the middlemen, contacting people from different parts of the country and getting them to participate. Steve explained that this project was in the early stages of production and the interns would have an amazing time participating because their work could potentially be put on tv when the special was aired on PBS in the following year. After we talked, Steve told me that he would email me the rest of the details and when the internship would start. From that point, I was officially an intern at RadicalMedia, about to start working on an amazing project that would greatly affect my career.
So now, as we are entering the last month of my internship, I felt that it was a great time to reflect on the experience I had with working with RadicalMedia on the PBS project. Overall, I would say I had an amazing time working on this project and I will forever remember my time as an intern. Entering the internship, I had no previous experience with any entertainment industry company, and it was my first time working on a media project. Regardless of this, Steve taught us about our duties equally and reassured us that whatever educational background we were pursing, it was vital for the overall need for the role. Jumping into the deep end, our duties were to find 10 stories each month on the three topics we were assigned, and have participants create videos answering prompts about our topics. To do this, it would involve us in heavy outreaching through email, phone, social media platforms and anyway we could think of. We would also have opportunities to submit our own stories and work on other parts of production if it was needed. From the start, Steve expected us to fully commit to finding our stories and overall embody our roles, something I was definitely willing to do.
But soon after starting I realized how big of a challenge it would be. Because I didn’t have any past experiences of outreaching, I was unaware of how hard it was and quickly got a reality check on the time and dedication I had to spend on my internship. When outreach is involved, it requires heavy acts of contacting lots of people. This meant endless searches on google, Facebook, Instagram and other web platforms to find people and convince them to participate. Before this, I had never experienced much rejection, but within this internship I found out I would constantly be told no or get no responses from people I contacted and eventually I had to learn that the key to this internship was to keep reaching out, keep convincing people that it was an amazing opportunity to be a part of this project, get over the rejection and if you do, you will eventually get people to want to participate. I had troubles dealing with this in the first couple of weeks and the constant rejection was causing me to doubt myself and if I was able to do it. Luckily, after talking to Steve and him reassuring me that it was normal to feel frustrated with the rejection, I decided I would continue my outreach with more dedication to finding stories.
From then, the enjoyment of my internship began to grow as well as my love for what I was doing. Though the rejection was hard to deal with, the greatest thing was when people were interested in participating. From their enthusiasm to be on the project and realizing that it was a great way to help individuals express who they were and what made them unique, I started to love reaching out. I reached out every chance I got, at work, at home, on the weekends, at night, with friends, friends of friends, coworkers and distant strangers. I enjoyed getting different topics each month and having to figure out how I would go about finding individuals that fit the story. It has given me the opportunity to look into different groups within different communities that I didn’t know existed, and how people approach the same topic differently. Plus, by having Steve show us how our participants’ submissions were going to be involved in many internet specials and tv specials for American Portrait, it reconfirmed how important my work was for the production and it was that satisfying feeling that kept me going.
Check out the trailer here! https://www.pbs.org/american-portrait/series/preview/preview-10-pbs-american-portrait-trailer
Also, from working on this project, I have been in contact with crewmembers on the show who are involved with other parts of production and they have offered more ways for interns to get involved further into the project. I have gotten to record extra footage that will be used for the show, which I will be credited for, and I am currently working with the content production group helping them sort through all of the videos to create featured collections on the website and for the television specials. Personally, I love how engaging seasoned staffers who work with RadicalMedia or PBS are with the interns and how willing they are to let interns be a part of other areas of the show to teach them what goes into a media production like American Portrait. From being able to participate in outreach as well as content production, I learned how much work is involved in content making and how many roles are crucial to producing something that will be enjoyed by millions of people.
It has also made me more aware of how necessary anthropology is within a field like entertainment. The entirety of the project is centered of the humanistic view of America and how people from varying backgrounds view the world in different perspectives but ultimately have similar experiences. Like in anthropology, it is a way to learn about the lives of groups, communities, and individuals, listen and record their stories and reflect on the human experience. It’s a non-traditional but new way of practicing ethnographic methods such as informal interviews, cross-cultural referencing, and research though the advancements of technology. This experience also causes reflection on past anthropological courses since we are dealing with a country-wide population of potential participants. Our topics let us reflect on a particular communities’ societal past and how they’ve been overall shaped by society. I have definitely relied back to the teachings in classes such as Cultural Diversity in the U.S., Human Variation, Methods of Anthropology and Cultural Anthropology when I am writing about how my work is related to my degree.
Check out my own submission to American Portrait here!
My time at my internship was unmatched to anything that I would have ever thought I would be doing. At the beginning of the year, I was sure that I would be in an anthropological internship that involved museum work, and at the time, it was what I wanted to pursue. But from the twist of fate, the pandemic and having to work remotely has led me into another career path that includes new and innovative anthropological practices in the fields of visual anthropology, journalism, and media production. My future career goals now involve getting into media production research and being able to work on an array of entertainment projects to provide an anthropological perspective on film, tv, and internet content. I am very grateful of what this internship has done in the long run of my career and has steered me to a path where I would find fulfillment in pursing,
I would recommend this program to anyone that is interested in looking at a new perspective of cultural anthropology. This was very different from what I was originally looking for, but in the long-term I am grateful that I found it. It’s perfect for students who would enjoy adding an anthropological view on entertainment and media content or those who like film, documentaries, and talking about current social issues. Like any intern, I am hoping a job offer does come from this opportunity but if not, I will still cherish how this internship how grown me both professionally and personally. During an uncertain time in the world, this internship has brought much joy, confidence, and skill building to myself and my career, and I will be forever contented with my experience in with RadicalMedia, PBS, and working on American Portrait.
Shafaa Lang: Remote Internship Connects Art History and Anthropology
(December 16, 2020) - When I started college back in 2012, my major was Art History, but I ended dropping out due to some issues in school. In 2016, I started to go to community college and took up Liberal Arts. During my time in community college, I picked up a book called “Everyone is African” by Daniel J. Fairbanks and it was then that I fell in love with the study of Anthropology. After that I started reading different books like “Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color” by Nina Jablonski and “Gun, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond which really inspired me to study Anthropology. Anthropology was the prefect way to combine my love for History and Science.
Before actively looking for an internship, I did not think that it would be hard to find one. Little did I know, it required more work than I thought. I got in contact with several different organizations and not one responded back to me. It is my belief that it was due to things being shut down because of the pandemic. This was very discouraging, but Dr. Gooding presented us with a remote opportunity called Endangerred Archives Programme which made things a whole lot easier. Endangerred Archives Programme supports the preservation of cultural archives from different regions throughout the world. Their goal is to digitize these archives while keeping the original copy in its country of origin. I was very intrigued because I never knew that you could do Anthropology work from home right from your computer and with having a father who is disabled it would allow me to cut my time away from home because I also work a full-time job.
This is a typical workday. I am working on identifying appropriate keywords for an image.
During this internship, I learned so much! I believe that this will strengthen my resume. It also shows that I have familiarity with archival work which could be good when applying to work at museums. My Research Methods and Cultural Anthropology classes during my time at KSU gave me the knowledge necessary to make it through this internship, especially Research Methods with Dr. Lundy. Learning about different research methods and how to collect data is important in ethnographic research or fieldwork.
The internship taught me patience and it has even taught me how to stay focused without having a boss looking directly over what I do. If I could change anything, it would be the timing. I do not have the support from my parents which makes it hard to do an internship because I must work full-time to live. Having a job and doing an internship was ridiculously hard for me to balance, but overall, I enjoyed the experience!
My internship was to help make it easier for people to find images of 19th and 20th century Southern Siberia indigenous peoples by giving each image keywords which is like an identification marker. These images are digitized archives. The original archives are safe in the region origin that they came from. In my work, I had to do my own research about the culture to be able to put keywords that made sense. What this internship taught me is that Siberia has a deep history and that the people there find it especially important to preserve their cultural heritage. Similar to the Americas, outsiders did come in and take over, this led to a fight for cultural preservation for the Siberian people. Learning about the culture made me really want to travel to Siberia. This internship has also inspired me to pursue a future career in Cultural Anthropology and I look forward to applying what I have learned here at KSU. I would love to travel and live amongst different groups of people to study their culture. I strongly believe that travelling and learning about different cultures around the world can help you find yourself.
Adrienne Goodwyn: Digital Internship During the Covid-19 Pandemic(December 15, 2020) - Coming into this internship I was a little scared. This was happening during Covid-19 and I was worried about if I was going to be able to get an internship. It was one of the last things I needed to graduate in the fall, so I was very stressed out about if I would be able to find one or not.
Around June of 2020 I received an email for a digital internship categorizing Siberian photographs on a website called Zooniverse. This website works with countries who have a hard time keeping their documents, pictures, etc. protected. Zooniverse also works with the Endangered Archives program, which the countries get in contact with before their documents show up on the Zooniverse website. When I got the email, I was very excited. I was glad that not only would I be able to work safe from home, but I would also be able to set my own schedule. This also worked well for me because during the fall I had three other classes as well, so having to ride out to an internship site, commute to school/do my school work, and work at my part-time job would have been difficult to juggle. This internship was the best outcome for me.
During the start of my internship I realized how easy it would be to get distracted. I live with my family and partner, so there were many opportunities to get distracted. However, even with those distractions I made myself concentrate, so I could put 100% of my time into these pictures. Even though I was one of around 100 volunteers, I still wanted to put effort into my work. This was something the people in Siberia did not have the time or resources to do themselves, so I knew my work was going to be helpful. In September I ran into a problem. I started getting pictures I had already categorized. I would have to constantly refresh the page, to try and make a new picture some up. After almost a week of this problem I asked my advisor if I could change Zooniverse projects. There were many others that needed volunteers, so I thought a switch would still be helpful. After I got the okay, I started on a project called Fossil Atmospheres, where I had to mark stomatal cells in plant cells. Both of these projects felt rewarding to me. I realized this archiving is fun and interesting even if it is tedious to do.
I believe the classes I took during the Spring semester of 2020 helped me with this internship the most. When writing my theme papers, I was able to draw on techniques from my Research Methods class, as well as my Human Origins class to help me with my research. After college I would like to work at a museum or even the Botanical Gardens, and I think the work I did in my internship will build the way towards those jobs. This was a rewarding experience for me and I am glad, that even in the midst of Covid, I was able to receive my Zooniverse internship.
Claire Carden: Intern at Edwards-Pitman Environmental Inc.
(December 15, 2020) - First coming to college and learning about everything I would have to do along the way was pretty daunting. I went into school not knowing what to expect from an internship, let alone an internship in Anthropology or Archaeology. When I was presented with the option to either participate in a practicum or an internship, I had to do my research to figure out which would work better for me. Both would provide me with the chance to learn more and grow in my field, but ultimately, I decided an internship would give me the best chance possible to build connections outside of academia. I think what had helped me decide was the words of my professors over the years. It is important to have a minimum of three professors you who know and trust, and are in contact with, that can be included in your resume as references and who can help you when you are looking for either a practicum or an internship. I had heard one of my professors, Dr. Powis, talk pretty often about careers in Cultural Resource Management, but I wasn’t sure how to go about looking into internships for that field. I reached out to Dr. Powis soon after and he gave me all the tips he could about getting started in CRM and even helped me get into contact with Edwards-Pitman, the company I would later intern for. Without his help I may not have ended up where I am right now, and I am absolutely thankful to him for all his help getting started. When I initially decided I wanted to intern with Edwards-Pitman, I reached out, but the pandemic had just begun to impact school and work so in the end, I had to wait a full semester to intern with them because of the pandemic. But I remained at the top of their list for potential interns by staying in contact and letting them know that I was still interested in interning the following semester. When the time came, I emailed my contact again to make another pitch for myself and I finally landed an interview and a few weeks later I was the newest Edwards-Pitman archaeology intern.
Edwards-Pitman is an environmental company that carries out archaeological surveys and excavations as part of their long list of services for their clients. As an intern in their archaeology department, I was able to assist with and participate in some of the many projects and surveys that come through. No project is the same as the next, but some can definitely be similar to others. Many of the survey projects are limited to Phase I and Phase II, which includes shovel tests, soil assessment, and a lot of walking around in different environments. Some survey areas can be in heavily developed urban or suburban areas and are easy to traverse, but others can be wooded areas and hillsides. There are certainly more difficult surveys, for example there was a survey that some of the field techs that I worked with were preparing for that was going to be completely in swampland and would mean the techs needed to update a lot of their gear and shoes to work with that environment. With CRM, you need to be prepared for any kind of environment, weather, and wildlife encounters (especially snakes). When working in the field, you should always bring more water than you expect to need, snacks, bug-spray, sunscreen, and a hat. It’s also smart to have everything you need in a backpack that you can bring with you around the survey area. Every trip out to a project location involves reviewing the provided map, splitting up the work for the team, and setting up your field notebook for the specific project being worked on that day. Field notes include the transect and shovel test number, the depth of the shovel test, the different soil layers per depth, and a general description of the vegetation and the surrounding environment for every shovel test. As long as you include all of that information in legible handwriting and in a way that is organized and easy to understand, that is really all that matters. When you go out in the field, you will be teamed up with other field techs, and getting paired with the right team can easily keep spirits high and can make the whole day more enjoyable for everyone.
Working in the lab, I was able to participate in several different aspects of the job. Much of my time was spent labeling photos and labeling artifact bags, but I also had the chance to wash new artifacts and sort the bag tags for different projects. A lot of the work was tedious and time consuming, but I learned quickly that bringing some headphones and listening to music or a podcast made the time pass much quicker. Labeling photos requires small and steady handwriting that can still be easily read, and because the ink from the pen takes some time to dry it definitely requires patience. At the end of every day, whether I started in the field and ended in the lab or spent the whole day in the lab, I always felt accomplished having finished labeling bags and just one project’s worth of photos (which could be anywhere from 50 to 250 photos). One of the best things about completing lab work is seeing the progress I’ve made since the start of the day laid out in front of me and seeing the table slowly become clearer as the day goes on. Being an intern in the lab gave me more opportunities to interact with the different employees at Edwards-Pitman outside of the archaeology department, but I found that I tended to enjoy working in the field with the other field techs more than sitting at a table all day. The amount of field work compared to the amount of lab work that I completed over the course of my time at Edwards-Pitman was really evenly divided, but there were weeks at a time where the only work available was in the lab meaning I had no time in the field. With the pandemic, many of the bigger projects that had more funding attached were cut down and thus allowed fewer people to work on them. This is unfortunately the case for many of the newer projects for Edwards-Pitman and this made my work only slightly more difficult to accomplish. I quickly noticed that everyone at the company is so warm and welcoming to not just interns but new employees as well, which was wonderful to see as someone who maintains an interest in continuing in the CRM field.
CRM fits into Anthropology under the subfield of Archaeology. It is generally described as the practice of surveying and conserving cultural resources, which can be anything from physical artifacts to full sites within a survey area. Many of the first anthropology courses that I took at KSU were archaeology related, so I learned pretty early into my major about CRM and the work that it involves. However, learning about CRM and participating in CRM are very different things. Being able to go out in the field and figure out for yourself what the work is and what kind of cultural resources are out there is an experience I think any student of anthropology should have. Anthropology is the study of humans and human cultures, each of the subfields covers a different area of study, but everything comes down to human beings. CRM is no different in that every interaction, be it with a client or with the environment, deals with humans and their effect on the past and present. My time at Edwards-Pitman definitely opened my eyes to the different aspects of CRM and archaeology and helped me to build a better understanding of how anthropology can fit into my own daily life. Any anthropology internship like one at Edwards-Pitman can help a student to gain a more in-depth awareness of why anthropology is so important in today’s world and will also allow them to help others in their lives to understand what it is that makes the work so interesting. Personally, being able to explain what I have spent my semester working on to my friends and family has been rewarding, especially seeing the realization of “oh that’s actually really cool” spread across their faces. It has been a genuine pleasure to be able to work with Edwards-Pitman and to meet all the wonderful people who work there.
Sunny Sewak: Putting on My Anthropology Hat in the Home Health Care Industry
(July 22, 2020) - When I think back to when I began at KSU as a Anthropology major, I really did not know what to expect or how the internship process worked. I knew what the word “intern” meant but at this point in my life I just couldn’t see myself doing it. I knew I was going to probably end up doing it at the end of my senior year so I really did not worry or put too much thought into the whole thing. I knew I had plenty of time before I had to worry about it.
Eventually my internship caught up with me and before I knew it I was registering for summer semester internship 2020 which was also my very last course I needed to complete to graduate from KSU with my bachelors degree. I felt very nervous about what was to come of this internship experience and felt that I was not prepared at all. I realized later on that my personal anxiety about my internship was lack of knowledge of even knowing how the whole process worked or how much work was involved. Its natural to be scared of the unknown but for me personally there were other concerns that may not plague the regular college age student.
My worry was not just what I was going to do for my internship but how will this mix in with my personal home life and my real job. I’m not your traditional college age. I am in my early 40’s with a family and a job. Supporting my family is the number one responsibility in my life and is the main reason why I am completing my bachelors degree right now. I knew that there were some internships that may pay some small amount but most of them do not pay anything so the thought of having to work somewhere for my internship without pay was terrifying to me. Plus the thought that I would have to do this around my real job full time schedule drove me insane.
Once I was in the position where I had to finally do my internship, I spoke to my department internship advisor about my options and explained my own personal position. That conversation let a big weight off my shoulders. All those past few years of wondering and worrying ended right there for me. I was advised that my actual job could possibly be my internship if my supervisor would approve. The business I was in which is elderly in-home care can work out as a cultural anthropology internship. This totally made me look at what I do every day in a completely different light and I immediately realized that there is all sorts of cultural anthropological things going on in the in-home care world. Needless to say, I was not worried anymore about what I was going to do for my internship.
Before the internship began I thought about how I would relate my internship to my major. I knew there was a lot of cultural anthropology type stuff going on at my internship site but I didn’t really know what or how I was going to focus on any of it. I tried hard to put it all into perspective. I also did not know yet what was going to be asked of me from the curriculum. Once the internship officially began and I saw what was on the syllabus it became much clearer on how I was going to get through this. Now I just needed to put on my anthropology hat on while at work rather than just another day to day employee going through the same day to day motions.
When the internship began, I made sure that I read all the assignments on the syllabus. I wanted to have a clear idea of what was asked of me while I was at the site. I had to make sure that I was thinking in a different way while there at work and how I would relate it to my assignments. I learned this was very important to do because I never thought of what I do for work daily, I never viewed it in a cultural anthropological light. I had to stop thinking as an employee and start thinking as an anthropologist while working. I had to view things from a different lens which, at times, was not as easy as it sounds.
I am certain that if I had done my internship way back in my younger college years, I would have done a more traditional internship. I think it was a little difficult for me to really get into the way of thinking in an anthropological way because a majority of my work is in an office atmosphere. There was not much hands on type stuff going on in my situation so for my internship, I had gotten involved with other areas of my workplace to gain proper information for my assignments, and that made it easier for me to gather information. Gaining the proper amount of information for my assignments was also difficult but I eventually got through it by referring to my readings.
Viewing my workplace internship site from a different lens was the single most important thing for my internship. I had to really try hard to view and analyze things as an anthropologist which can prove hard when you get stuck into day to day activities. It was very easy to get back into an employee state of mind which showed in my first initial paper and journals I wrote. I had to write as an anthropologist rather than tell the story of my job and day to day tasks. I had to delve deep into the reasons why certain issues were happening and how they tie into the anthropology world. Tying the readings together with what I do really helped open the doors for a lot of every day issues I deal with and made me think of them from an anthropological angle which I had never done before.
I feel that many Anthropology courses at KSU I completed definitely helped me with doing my internship, especially the cultural anthropology classes. While I was doing my internship I often thought about certain classes, papers and assignments I completed that directly correlated with my internship. I can honestly say they helped me with my focus and view of what I was doing at my internship and without having completed those classes, my internship assignments would have been difficult to complete. Those classes helped shape the understanding of what exactly was being asked of me while doing my internship as an Anthropology major.
In the end I feel that my experience with my internship was a good one. It really made me open my eyes in a different way and focus on things I never really thought about before. I learned there is so much cultural anthropology involved in what I do every day. Anthropology courses I have taken at KSU really prepared me for my internship and I am happy that I had them to refer back to. I feel it is important to understand what the internship experience is about early on in college so that it isn’t such a shock when you finally have to do it. I am happy to have had this experience with my internship and workplace and I feel that it has made me a better employee as well as opened up my anthropological mind to other areas I may not have thought about before.
Adrianna Dunn: Hidden History: A Library of Congress Virtual Internship
(July 22, 2020) - I started this year with a complete plan leading to my graduation. My practicum requirements were going to be fulfilled this Summer 2020. I was accepted to be a Research Assistant for Dr. Smith’s Greek Osteology Research Project. But four weeks in Greece turned to eight weeks at home in Connecticut with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the research trip was cancelled and more internships became unavailable, I was unsure as to if I would be able to meet my graduation goal. Luckily, I received an email from Dr. Gooding that contained a virtual internship opportunity that I could complete from home. The internship would be volunteering to transcribe online materials for the institution of my choice. I chose to be a Library of Congress volunteer. Virtually transcribing materials was not how I had expected my internship to be. I had expected my internship to be more hands-on and interacting with multiple people. Though it was not what I had expected, I was glad that I would still be able to graduate when I planned.
To volunteer for the Library of Congress, began with creating a personal account in By the People. By the People is the application by which volunteers can keep track of the materials they transcribe and review. Transcription was needed so that the materials could be preserved and available for search engines and the public. Before I could register for the internship, I had to show that I would be able to complete the work required. I transcribed one of the documents and submitted proof that it was accepted. That was the beginning of my virtual internship.
The materials were in different campaigns that the Library of Congress posted. Materials included handwritten and typed papers, legal documents, letters, and even diary entries. Some documents were even from people during the Revolutionary War. Most of my work was self-guided. The Library of Congress provided a How to Transcribe guide, but other than that I was mostly on my own. It was different from other types of internships, as I mostly supervised myself.
I was able to set what times I would transcribe, and review, and I was able to fit time in with my other summer classes. The internship requirement of 150 hours was still in place, so I had to be on top of the time that I needed to work. I was able to break my time up into shifts. Though most of the material was interesting, such as, the drafts of Mary Church Terrell, an African American and Women’s rights activist, it could become tedious to be sitting and transcribing for five hours a day.
Breaking up the time I worked and taking breaks helped me stay focused and not feel as though it was dull. Transcribing every day for eight weeks can definitely feel tiresome. There were some days that I dreaded going back to the computer and looking at more papers. I had to be extremely dedicated and manage my time well.
Over the coming weeks I became better at transcribing and understanding different styles of writing and script. There were stories of different interactions that were enjoyable to read. Creativity was needed to complete the required internship assignments and papers. Since this was a virtual internship, I had to find ways that it could apply to anthropology and what I was learning from it.
I gained access to stories that are not often available in history books or websites. In addition, I could read individuals’ personal writings and thoughts that provided a more complete view of the culture and ideas of that time. Working as a virtual volunteer, I was able to provide completed materials for future research purposes and community access. I gained a better understanding of how historical materials are preserved. It was an interesting look into archival work and public institutions.
By completing this virtual internship, I became better at analyzing and connecting materials to anthropology. I was able to learn methods for transcribing and I can now list transcribing as a skill on my resume. I was able to gain better time management and complete the hours at my own pace. I gained experience with transcribing and found out that I do not want to focus on similar work in the future. I learned more about my work preferences and that I want to work in an environment with opportunities to be active and have more hands-on projects.
There are many benefits to transcribing for the Library of Congress. The ability to set a schedule is great for anyone that has other responsibilities or classes. Transcribing is also a transferable skill and is a notable contribution to a resume or CV. Access to historical materials can enhance cultural understanding and give context to past stories, as well as be more readily available for the public and community use. Though the work can be tedious at times, volunteering virtually is a great option for anyone looking for an internship that they can complete at home.
Abby Hill: Transcribing Historical Documents for the Smithsonian Institution
(July 22, 2020) - I was originally planning to intern with a funeral home during the summer, however due to COVID-19 restrictions, they told me they could no longer employ me. Dr. Gooding was kind enough to send me a link to an Atlanta Journal Constitution article about how you can combat boredom at home with volunteering to transcribe with different organizations. After going through Handshake and applying to several different places and not finding anything, I decided to look at the Smithsonian’s and the National Archive’s websites. I chose the Smithsonian because it seemed easier to understand, they provided instructions, and a way to track your time. I was optimistic about the internship after doing an hour trial run of the site and decided that I would do this as my Summer 2020 internship. This type of internship is not what I had in mind initially, but in order to graduate on time, I needed the credit.
One thing I learned quickly is that to perform well in an online internship, you need to understand how you work best. If you have trouble scheduling your time, managing yourself, or motivating yourself, then an online internship might not work for you. For an online internship like this, I had no direct supervisor or anyone telling me to do x number of hours a day for x many weeks. I would like to say that I am disciplined but I had a hard time consistently working. I had a four-week summer course all throughout June, which took up a lot of my time and energy. And once I was done with reading, writing, and doing homework for my class, I did not really want to sit at my computer for another few hours transcribing.
I think this internship would be the most enjoyable for people who are interested in linguistic anthropology, a specific collection of documents, or a certain time period in history. If you are interested or passionate about what you are transcribing, that would help the time pass quicker. For the most part, once I got over the hurdle of two or three hours, I could find a productive energy and work for long periods of eight to ten hours. There were still days where I struggled to focus and stay motivated, but what helped me the most was adhering to the schedule I had made. Seeing my days mapped out with the hours I would need to transcribe along with other things like meetings, chores, homework, etc. helped me to visualize the amount of work that I was doing and how it was all adding up in the end.
One aspect of this internship that I appreciated the most was the portability. I could use my phone as an internet hotspot for my laptop when I did not have Wi-Fi so I could still work. For example, I used this method to transcribe while riding in the car for a few hours. The availability to do this internship whenever I felt like it or had time was another thing that I enjoyed. If I found that I had a spare hour or two, I could log on and work until I had to get off. That level of flexibility is perfect for people who are busy with classes or for those who cannot work a 9 to 5 job. Doing an online internship allows you to create your own schedule that works for you.
Transcribing aids in public understanding of historical events and everyday life. The public can open their eyes and gain a new perspective about the way our culture has changed throughout time just by reading some letters between parents and their daughter. A good example of this is the Doris Blake collection, which are letters that describe normal happenings in the parent’s lives that they are explaining to their daughter. One specific cultural detail that I remember is Doris’s mother concerned about why an Irish catholic woman moved into a house down the street. She criticized the woman and said that their neighborhood did not need a person like that. Before taking Historical Archaeology with Dr. Powis, I did not know that people in America actively hated Irish immigrants, and it is not talked about often, so it was surprising to read. This instance was very satisfying to me because I could directly connect what I have learned in school with something outside of class.
A fun thing about this internship was when I told people that my internship was transcribing historical documents for the Smithsonian, everyone was shocked and amazed. It also is fulfilling to have been a part of something that I think is important. Transcribing is essential for preserving historic documents that would be lost to time eventually. Due to the spread of COVID-19, the way people interact with museums may change forever. These institutions now have to digitize everything in order to provide the public with a way of accessing the collections. The first step to doing this, which most large institutions have already begun, is to scan documents, pictures, and digitize audio files. To be someone who promotes continued learning in the face of a pandemic is very rewarding.
here are some specific tips I found to be useful in doing this internship. First, use a mouse instead of the track pad on a laptop. You have more control with zooming in on the document and it made everything so much easier once I transitioned. Second, really read the general instructions and the specific instructions for each project- some will have advanced instructions depending on the documents. Some volunteers do not seem to read any instructions and will transcribe whole paragraphs incorrectly, but when that happened to me I would put in the notes box how to transcribe something difficult or “Per Smithsonian rules, you no longer need to indicate when something is underlined.” None of the instructions are hard to find and the general instructions are shown to every new volunteer. Lastly, take notes while you are working so you can refer to them later when you have to do your journal entries and essays. Having specific examples of behavior, language, etc. can make doing the work so much easier and I wish someone would have told me that when I first started.
I do not think I will ever have a job in this field. I am more interested in biological anthropology, but for someone who is interested in linguistics, I think this internship would be interesting and give you experience. As I transcribed, I noted how differently people write and form sentences and how it changed over time. Because I was only an online volunteer, I did not receive any job offers as a result of this internship from the Smithsonian, however I now have a full time position with the same funeral home that I was going to intern with originally. And while my internship is not relevant to the funeral industry, they were very impressed and happy that I was able to get the credit I needed to graduate. So although this was not the internship I had in mind originally, I am able to graduate and feel like I made a small difference in the world.
Evan Lofton: GIS and Archaeology are the Perfect Find at Leone Hall Price Park
(April 16, 2020) - Starting in August of 2019, I got an internship where I was tasked with performing archaeological research at Leone Hall Price Park. The purpose of this research was to establish a timeline of occupation for the park, as well as make maps showing where artifacts and features have been found in relation to the existing trail system. Throughout this blog, I will discuss what I did during my internship so that you can know what to expect when you finally get your own.
Starting the Research: Fieldwork
Starting thWorking in the field is a great, yet physically demanding opportunity. It allows you to get out and see where the people lived and find amazing artifacts first hand, it really lets you feel closer to the people who lived at the site you are studying. Always keep in mind however that all fieldwork has its difficulties. You can get caught in the rain, have to wade across a body of water, or be stuck in the cold. Even in the picture above where it looks beautiful, the temperature was in the mid-90’s and it was extremely humid. At times, discovering artifacts is as easy as walking along a riverbank. After a heavy rain, artifacts such as this could be washed downstream and left in plain sight. This is not to say that you don’t need to pay attention however, as many artifacts are small and difficult to see. Other times, finding artifacts requires you to get dirty. This fragment of a projectile point was found by climbing down into a pit near by the river created by an uprooted tree. Although more difficult to get to, artifacts like these have the advantage of being closer to where they were originally left than those found in the river.
Figuring it All Out: Labwork
Between the days working in the field, I was in the archaeology lab sorting and typing artifacts. This process is among the most time consuming, yet vital steps in understanding a site, it allows you to get a rough estimate for the age of a site, as well as gain an understanding of role of the site in trade if you find items originating form far off. Be aware however that working in the lab takes multiple hours of looking at artifacts and referencing books to make any progress. It is often said that an hour of fieldwork produces enough artifacts for a week of labwork. Some seemingly unassuming artifacts can be the most fascinating. Prior to analyzing this artifact, the oldest artifacts from Price Park were from the Early Woodland, 3000 years ago. Now the time for earliest human occupation at the site has been pushed back to 7500 years ago. At other times, the information offered by an artifact is limited. Alkaline glazed pottery such as the artifact pictured above became common in the South starting sometime in the 1800’s and is still produced today in some areas. Although this piece can tell us that the park was occupied by Americans sometime between the 1800’s and when the property was granted to Cobb County, what period it is from cannot be determined.
Last Step: Making the Maps
Although most people with an anthropology internship will not have to do any mapping, those who are also getting a certificate in GIS would be wise to combine the two internships to make the workload easier. Collecting data with ArcCollector can show where artifacts and features are concentrated. This can then be used to for a number of different things, such as where people are likely to have lived within a certain site. This will require hours of sitting at a desk and adjusting the map to make it look good, but the information you gain from it is worth it. Here is the official trail map, made by the Friends of Price Park.
Sara Allen: Deep Roots in Georgia: The Root House Museum(April 16, 2020) -
I was an unpaid intern at the Root House Museum. My time there started in August, while the house was still dressed for summer. The first month at the Root House, I was given a docent manual and became acquainted with everyone that worked there at the time. I was given a lot of freedom with my time spent there. The executive director allowed me to choose what I spend my time doing as an intern at the Root House. I was provided access to resources that the museum already had, and then the rest of time was independent research. The atmosphere at the museum is very easy-going; help with projects was always requested and never pressed.
I think this the benefit that comes from working with a museum that relies somewhat heavily on volunteer work- the executive director and program coordinator avoid asking too much from their unpaid workers. Although I requested not to lead museum tours, I sat in during some of them to learn more about what a docent has to do as well as the typical visitors to the Root House Museum. Most of the visitors that I saw while I was there were either retirees or school aged children.
Aside from research and giving tours, a lot of the work at the museum involves arranging furniture and prepping for events. The room exhibits change almost every month, so furniture and décor have to be carefully moved around and arranged. The museum will host events, usually as an avenue to raise more money, and this also involves arranging tables and decorations in the garden. Otherwise, if you’re on the clock you might be asked to help sweep and dust. The Root House Museum is a good place for potential interns that want quiet, self-driven work. The other draw of the Root House is that the exhibits there touch a broad amount of subjects. The museum represents history, local history, business in 1800’s, the middle class during the 1800’s, horticulture and pharmacy, race, religion and gender. There are a lot of opportunities at the Root House for deeper studies into any of these subjects and more. The Root House Museum has connections to other local historians, other museums, and other historical societies. This museum is actually a very good place for people looking to make connections with other historical museums. It’s also a good place to learn how smaller scale museums maintain their exhibits, and turn out a profit.
The drawbacks of the museum start with the fact that internships will be unpaid. People who want more direction in their work, especially people who need consistent feedback, may not find the Root House as relaxing as I did. The days spent at the Root House are very slow, and some people need an environment where they constantly have something do and this just isn’t an environment that will keep anyone on their toes. Also research projects involve dead ends and this can be potentially frustrating for some people.
Elisabeth Peulausk: Of Teeth, Trilobites, and Tellus(April 16, 2020) - It was late in the summer when I realized that in order to graduate in December, I needed to find an internship. After attempting to contact all of the museums within drivable distance of my home Ryan Roney, the curator from the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, GA, was kind enough to contact me and say that I could follow him around for 150 hours. The focus of the Tellus is geology, paleontology and technology, which might sound like an odd fit for a student majoring in anthropology. My goal, however, is to eventually become a curator, and this internship exposed me to many of the different facets of what a career in curation would entail. These “real world” experiences have not dissuaded me in my choice of career at all, so you know that the internship must have been a good one.
What I appreciated most about my internship at Tellus were the varied tasks and situations to which I was exposed. For example, I was able to be involved in taking down an exhibit and setting up a new one in its place. I attended several different kinds of meetings with museum personnel, spoke with professionals in various positions in the museum sector, took a tour with staff members around the rarely seen parts of the Tellus given by the museum’s director and attended educational talks in the theater during Mercury’s transit in November. We went to visit the Booth Western Art Museum and tour their collections storage and to the Bartow History Museum and accompanying archives both of which, like Tellus, are part of parent organization Georgia Museums Incorporated. When opening a drawer or a box in collections storage you might find a megalodon tooth to touch or a radioactive geological specimen in a container marked with a chili pepper to not touch. On any given day you might have an impromptu presentation on photographic techniques from one of the world’s foremost photographers of mineralogical specimens or take pictures of staff members during their comical attempt to dress a mannequin of one of the Wright brothers after his suit was dry cleaned.
Although most days are filled with opportunities to move around and experience new things, there are tasks that have to be completed that can be repetitive and sedentary and these come in the form of computer work. The program used by the Tellus, as well as many other museums, is called PastPerfect and every specimen in the collection has an entry. In order to make each piece in the collection searchable, each entry has to be correct and there has to be standardization regarding what information goes into which field. These tasks were a relatively small part of my activities at the Tellus, however, and it did allow me to learn how to use a collections management program – an essential skill for anyone wanting to pursue museum work.
Aside from the myriad of smaller duties in which I was involved, the main ongoing curatorial project is that of a collections review. Simply put, it is the process of going through the entire collection, which is made up of thousands of objects, and making sure that things are where they are supposed to be and can easily be found. Updates in nomenclature and location are made in PastPerfect, and some objects might be deaccessioned (removed from the collection) or moved to a special collection for use by those interested in doing research. Pulling objects out of storage is always an adventure, as you have no idea what they will look like until you locate them. Many of them are pretty cool! I never thought that I would have a favorite mineral, but the aesthetic properties and greenish-blue hue of dioptase is very pleasing.
For anyone wanting to pursue work in a museum I would highly recommend an internship at the Tellus. It is a beautiful facility filled with delightful people who are very willing to help you learn the ins and outs of museum work. It was often said to me that, when looking for a job, there is no substitute for experience.
Rebecca Ruggles: Grounded in History: Museum of History and Holocaust Education(April 16, 2020) - For my last fall semester at KSU, I interned at the Museum of History and Holocaust Education right here at the university. I worked with their curator Adina Langer researching and helping with upcoming projects for the museum. There I learned how much effort went into each exhibit that was on display within the museum. Working at the museum proved to be a very fast paced and on the go environment especially when October rolled around, as that was when field trips from school would be scheduled to visit for tours. There were quite a few tours going on every week and the museum staff would often be out of the office visiting school with traveling trunks or mobile exhibits.
I also helped with giving tours, but as a support role. I aided the docent giving the tour and assisting children with their work. I also transcribed an interview that was part of the ongoing project at the Museum of History and Holocaust Education called the Legacy Series Oral History Program. I was also working on setting up exhibits by researching information, helping create panels, and setting up display cases which . I also tried to participate in many of the events they had going on such as their docent training, where they trained volunteers to be docents, and home school day, where children who are home schooled are visiting.
This was an amazing experience that I would recommend for others to do if they have the opportunity. I felt that working at the museum helped hone my research skills and let me see how I could potentially apply them in a workplace. I also learned a lot about the dynamics of a work environment for a museum and what it takes to be successful. Everyone I worked with was very nice and very knowledgeable in their work. If you decide to work here do try to interact with everyone, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and participate in events!
Samuel Sims: Field School in Archaeology Pays Off in CRM
(August 20, 2019) - My very last act as a Kennesaw State University undergraduate was to fulfill my internship requirement. I chose to intern as a field technician at Edwards-Pitman Environmental Inc. (EPEI) over the summer. It was exactly the hands on experience that I was hoping to gain.
Edwards-Pitman is a cultural resource management (CRM) firm that works mostly in Georgia. Being in archaeology class you often hear about CRM and if you have Dr. Terry Powis, it comes up often, due to his background in the field. Dr. Powis’ field school is even CRM based and that gave me a small taste of what it is like. But I must advise you, doing actual CRM work is like Dr. Powis’ field school but in overdrive and turbocharged! This internship allowed me to see first hand what all the hoopla was about.
Being a CRM field tech can be very fast paced and is almost always rugged. You may be walking behind sound barriers which haven’t been visited by a human being since they were erected. Or maybe it’s rural Georgia and you must trudge through thick vegetation only to run into a stream you must fjord. Or perhaps you are walking along a noisy interstate, feeling the full force of the sun for several miles. I say all this not to scare anyone away, but to give a real sense of what the hardest parts of the job entail. On the flip side, there are easy days. Often, large portions of shovel test are in paved, developed areas and those are simply written off as undigable. Other times you have ample time to do all the shovel tests for the day and you take frequent long breaks. Regardless of the work situation, the crew chiefs are very considerate of your well being and take environmental conditions into account. This summer was freakishly hot with regularly high humidity, so the crew chiefs were regularly checking in with their techs, taking regular breaks and making sure everyone was hydrated.
The vast majority of my time was spent in the field, but I did get a small amount of time to work in EPEI’s highly equipped lab. My work there solely consisted of labeling and inventorying artifacts from past projects. This is pretty tedious work, but it’s essential that it is done correctly to ensure that the artifacts are curated properly. Though lab work isn’t my cup of tea, so to say, but I enjoyed doing it as it gave me a greater appreciation for the work. It also is a bug free, air conditioned work space which was a nice break from the field!
One of the coolest things about working in CRM is that you are actively doing preservation work. I truly believe that work itself is of utmost importance and the folks at Edwards-Pitman share that value. It is nice to work in a crew of like minded people and have an accomplished feeling that you’ve done work towards the greater good. I really enjoyed working with people of vastly higher skill level than me. I had a suitable, albeit amateur, skill level coming into this, but it gave way to so many learning opportunities. It seemed like at every turn I had a question and there was always someone there with a good answer. There is also a decent amount of commingling of people with varying levels of experience and/or education in the field. Being around these people gave me hands on experience that is inherently lacking in a classroom.
When I changed my major to anthropology I envisioned myself doing work that looks very similar to being a CRM field tech and I must say I couldn’t be more satisfied with my experience, bugs, heat and all. Since my internship was the very last class I took, it felt very much like a culmination of all my past experiences at Kennesaw State. My internship with Edwards-Pitman was the perfect, pretty ribbon to wrap up my college experience.