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In Their Own Words: Student Internship Experiences

Summer 2017: Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Rachael Hirsch: “What I am doing at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park is very important to that area. I learn about the history of the canal, especially in the Shepherdstown and Williamsport area. I take those historical facts and I interpret them and make programs to share with visitors. I get to be outside, educating the public about historical events. I also get to use my experience with historic preservation to help with this job. I’m very excited to see where this internships lead me to.”

Summer 2017: Mason County Historical and Preservation Society

Christopher Rizer: “I was tasked with cleaning and restoring two cemeteries, but I was also asked to document as many cemeteries as I can find. However, the largest part of my internship is actually organizing the historical society and completing the government paperwork. I think that the largest benefit of this internship is learning how to navigate the different levels of government red tape. It’s something that every preservationist has to deal with at some point, so it’ll help to already have that experience.”

Summer 2017: Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission

Kara Riley: “My goal is to eventually restore old houses, and I’m learning a lot from the internship. I learned how to do deed chains, a list of all the owners of a property, and was able to accompany a representative from the State Historic Preservation Office through a historic house near Shepherdstown that’s being considered for the National Register of Historic Places. That was a lot of fun to get to go through the house. It was amazing. I think this internship has helped me because I didn’t realize how much paperwork there is and all the guidelines you have to follow to be able to get these houses back to where they need to be. It’s definitely been a learning experience.”

Summer 2017: Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education

Patrick Gregory: “My first assignment was digitizing some of Senator Byrd’s 140 scrapbooks Basically for the first two weeks I was scanning. It might seem like menial work, but because of what I’m interested in, which is history and politics, reading the old newspapers and files provided enjoyment along with the work. When I first learned that Robert Byrd was a fan of the Roman Senate and wrote books about it, I instantly knew this was where I wanted to be.”

Summer 2016: Invenergy Beech Ridge Energy Storage Project

Henry deBuchananne, Harpers Ferry

Henry deBuchananne, Harpers Ferry

Henry deBuchananne: “I listened to Polsky’s speech during the inauguration of President Hendrix and his story and what his business is about really interested me. I understood what I would do in the internship would propel me to continue on maybe with that company. I felt like it was the best opportunity to give me a future in the business. I’ve always been interested in alternative energy, and I felt this was the best way to join in. The site is relatively new and they were putting in a new addition starting this fall, so I thought maybe I should give it a shot. The internship more than lived up to my expectations. I learned a lot more than I thought I would. I expected to just do research all day, but they had me do other stuff with them. I just learned lots of new and different things. I got really interested in the project manager side—people who set up new wind farms or solar farms and all the gadgets they use to map everything out. Being able to work with them this summer was really cool, and I am going to be looking into that sort of thing.”

Summer 2016: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts

Jillian McMaster, Middletown, Maryland

Jillian McMaster, Middletown, Maryland

Jillian McMaster: “I know that maintaining a professional artistic setting is something that I wouldn’t have learned at Shepherd. Here we learn how to make art and how to critique ourselves and others based on concept and visuals but we don’t really learn how to professionally present it. We do a little bit for capstone but that’s just for ourselves. I really learned a lot, and I enjoyed learning, how to present other peoples’ work, especially old work. We had to take very, very good care of the old work because they are very old paintings. It was fun. I liked it a lot, especially going through the museum and interacting with the visitors. It was nice to immerse myself.”

Summer 2016: U.S. Coast Guard Operations Systems Center

Photo—(front row, l.-r.) Bobby Plume, Hagerstown, Maryland; Nathan Corp, Frederick, Maryland; and Kenneth Nusbaum, Walkersville, Maryland. (back row, l.-r.) Jonathan Stammer, Oakland, Maryland; Kennedy Cook, Charles Town; Cody Brown, Martinsburg; and Will Richards, Charles Town.

Photographed (front row, l.-r.) are Bobby Plume, Hagerstown, Maryland; Nathan Corp, Frederick, Maryland; and Kenneth Nusbaum, Walkersville, Maryland, (back row) Jonathan Stammer, Oakland, Maryland; Kennedy Cook, Charles Town; Cody Brown, Martinsburg; and Will Richards, Charles Town.

Bobby Plume: “The internship has helped me get an idea of what a professional work environment is like. I’ve had a lot of help from my mentors and other staff. It’s a good experience all around.”

Jonathan Stammer: “This is my first experience in a professional working environment. The mentors were very helpful and I enjoyed the entire experience and it will help me with my future studies.”

Kennedy Cook: “This was also my first experience in a professional environment, the first time experiencing government work. This was a great experience. I’ve learned a lot.”

William Richards: “Having an internship has helped me get a foot into the door. The biggest thing with these kind of jobs is when you graduate it’s hard because a lot of these jobs are looking for four to five years experience but now that you have your foot in the door and you have security clearances, it helps out a lot with that initial push with getting a job after graduating.”

Summer 2016: KRM Associates Inc.

Lisa Butler and Keenan Hollida

Lisa Butler and Keenan Hollida

Lisa Butler: “The nice thing is they will continue to keep me on. KRM really believes in the intern program. It’s something they really strive hard to work closely with Shepherd with. They try to find students who are doing well and that they can guide and mold along the way in their career. When you first come into the computer engineering department, one of the first things they tell you is because technology grows at the speed of light it’s very hard to keep up and teach all the most advanced and newest things. With a degree, you’re learning a lot of theory. The internship, I think, is helpful in stringing those pieces together. They’ll take what your advanced theory and maybe some of your beginning programming skills and really hone and shape that.”

Keenan Hollida: “I feel a lot more prepared for the real world now that I’ve done an internship. I’m comfortable with what I do now and I feel I can go out into the workplace and contribute.”

Summer 2016: History Internships

Photographed (front row, l.-r.) are Stephen Staubs, Ranson; Dakota DiMagno, Martinsburg; Drew Harris, New Market, Maryland; Brittany Williams, Damascus, Maryland; Ashley McLaughlin, Toledo, Ohio; (back row) Lauren Kelly, Charles Town; Hunter Shockey, Hagerstown, Maryland; and Meaghan Papeika, Annville, Pennsylvania.

Photographed (front row, l.-r.) are Stephen Staubs, Ranson; Dakota DiMagno, Martinsburg; Drew Harris, New Market, Maryland; Brittany Williams, Damascus, Maryland; Ashley McLaughlin, Toledo, Ohio; (back row) Lauren Kelly, Charles Town; Hunter Shockey, Hagerstown, Maryland; and Meaghan Papeika, Annville, Pennsylvania.

Steven Staubs, Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education: “It was very interesting and great to work with Sen. Byrd’s archive because he did so much for the state. It will hopefully propel my career in public history.”

Drew Harris, Rose Hill Manor Park and Children’s Museum in Frederick: “I got a lot of firsthand experience with museum exhibits.”

Meaghan Papeika, Historical Society of Pennsylvania: “I actually interned in two different departments. I was in programs and services and the library division, so I did a lot of public programming work publishing stories on the website and just seeing how the library runs day to day. It is a huge collecting library so I got a lot of experience.”