In a 2005 survey conducted by CollegeGrad.com, employers ranked internships/experience as one of the top three criteria they use in hiring college graduates. Dedicated to providing students with the tools and experience they’ll need to succeed after college, the UWF Department of History offers numerous internship opportunities.
About Completing Internships
Benefits of Completing an Internship
- History internships provide students with opportunities to apply the skills and methodologies learned through their coursework.
- Students learn how history practitioners work with multiple tasks, project deadlines, diverse publics and within non-academic settings as they complete their internship with an appropriate institution or agency.
- Students complete appropriate project(s), collect documents and materials supporting their experience and keep a detailed journal of their activities.
- Upon completion, students prepare a comprehensive internship report that they will defend before a departmental committee.
Although the duration of the experience must be determined by the scope of the project, the demands of the granting agency or institution and the needs of the student, each internship must include a minimum of 200 fieldwork hours to fulfill the six (6) hour internship requirement. Because of the extensive requirements for the internship, students should consider undertaking their internship during the summer months between the spring and fall semesters. Although this is only a suggestion, this arrangement provides both available time outside of semester coursework for internship work and the remaining semesters to complete and defend the report.
Grading and Evaluation
While students receive no formal letter grade for the internship, successful completion depends upon three factors:
- Acceptable completion of projects and associated products as determined by the internship granting institution or agency.
- Acceptable completion of the prerequisite hours and the completion and submission of the comprehensive internship report and associated documentation.
- Successful defense of the internship report before a departmental committee.
“Seeing the completion of such a noteworthy project has been the most fulfilling experience in my graduate studies,” said Lyttle. “I have worked with and researched some of the most amazing women, all of whom have changed my life in some shape or fashion.” - Ashley Lyttle
Lyttle, public history graduate student alumna, assisted in the research and editing process for the development of a museum exhibit titled “Collard Greens and Artistic Scenes: Stories of Pensacola Women of the 1930s,” displayed at the T. T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum.
How to Choose and Complete an Internship
Completing a successful internship requires several steps. First, secure the internship and sign the internship agreement with the host organization. While fulfilling internship requirements, apply history skills and methodologies toward the completion of specified assignments. Finally, submit completed project materials.
Local Opportunities for Volunteering & Interning
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for historians, internships and other field experiences "offer an opportunity to learn practical skills, such as handling and preserving artifacts and creating exhibits. They also give students an opportunity to apply their academic knowledge in a hands-on setting." Taking advantage of these opportunities while completing your studies can provide you with additional analytical and technical skills that make you a more versatile and experienced job candidate. As "America's First Settlement," Pensacola offers history students several opportunities to intern and/or volunteer locally! See the links below for specific position descriptions and links to applications.
- The UWF Historic Trust offers four different volunteer opportunities with flexible hours at Historic Pensacola Village.
- Pensacola Museum of Art Volunteering
- Gulf Islands National Seashore Volunteering and Job Opportunities
- Volunteer at the National Naval Aviation Museum
- African American Heritage Society
Securing Appropriate Internships
Students arrange an internship that will provide a suitable set of public history focused experiences. This process will expand the student’s communication, writing, and organizational skills while providing them with an understanding of the intangibles of the process. Throughout this process, the student’s internship adviser will assist in making arrangements and assuring that the placement will provide an appropriate cultivation of skills as well as acceptable academic standards.
Once the student and the internship advisor secure an appropriate internship, they and the sponsoring agency/organization sign an internship agreement. This contract between the parties assures that the student will complete, within the specified period and number of internship hours, a specific project or projects. This agreement assures that the sponsoring agency/organization will receive a completed product, that the student will engage in beneficial activities during their involvement and that the internship advisor will verify that the process meets appropriate academic, professional and ethical standards.
Students engage in a specified project or projects, which incorporate applied history skills and methodologies. As the student conducts these projects, he/she will keep copies of all materials and documents used as well as records of any meetings, discussions, similar projects and/or correspondence. Additionally, the student will keep a detailed internship journal of daily actives and experiences. To assure the success of the process, students will maintain regular contact with their agency/organization supervisor as well as weekly contact with their internship advisor. Students will provide regular written updates of progress and activities.
Upon completion of the internship, the student will submit all completed product materials to the internship granting agency. As a reflection of the student, UWF and the Department of History all materials must demonstrate the highest academic, professional and ethical standards. Both the student and the internship advisor will coordinate to verify compliance with these standards.
Following the completion of the internship fieldwork phase, students will prepare a comprehensive internship report. While the completed product will contain the culmination of appropriate research, analytical, and communication skills, the final summation will address the value of the experience, insights as to the process, working as a professional, and conclusions to the process. As an academic internship, the report must reflect both conventional and applied history methodologies and approaches. As supporting documentation to the internship, the report should include copies of all materials associated with the experience, a copy of the final product and the student’s internship journal. Similar to formal thesis procedures, the student will complete the process by defending his/her internship before a departmental committee. The report should serve as both an illustration of the intern’s experiences for future activities, and as an example of a successful internship project for future history students.
The report must contain the following sections:
Section that describes the student’s coursework, experiences, activities with history projects and the process of securing the internship with the granting institution.
Project Methodologies and Procedures
Comprehensive section that describes the process of completing the internship. This should include, but is not limited to, history “tools” and skills applied during the internship, evaluation of difficulties encountered and discussion of any new concepts that emerged.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Section that addresses what the intern learned through the process. This should include what specifically the student gained from the experience, an evaluation of what activities remain for future projects, a discussion of what worked and what did not work and what additional training or skills would have improved the experience. This section should serve as a reflective presentation designed to explain not only how the student benefited, but also how future students can learn from the experience and use the work as a starting point for future activities.
Section that provides a daily assessment and discussion of activities completed for the internship. While this can include minutia such as traveling, lodging meals, etc., the purpose of the journal is to provide a reflective forum for understanding the internship and project process, the tools applied and the experiences learned.Section that provides a daily assessment and discussion of activities completed for the internship. While this can include minutia such as traveling, lodging meals, etc., the purpose of the journal is to provide a reflective forum for understanding the internship and project process, the tools applied and the experiences learned.
Project Product and Appendices
Copy of the completed project materials that the intern submitted to the granting institution. If student completed a non-documentary based project (such as a program, exhibit, display, processed collection, etc.) supporting materials for the project are appropriate. Typically, the final product will contain a bibliography of materials used in the project.
Additional attached appendices should include pertinent materials about the acquisition, production and completion of the project. These should include communications, letters, e-mail copies, maps, photographs, contract copies and a non-product related bibliography as necessary.