Through the National History Center’s internship program, students gain skills that will help them pursue their careers inside and outside of the field of history. Recently, the center asked past interns about what they learned during their internship and where they are now. Compiled by Chris Ring
Nicole Carroll: I interned at the National History Center during the summer of 2014. During my internship I learned a lot about the NHC. I was mostly involved in and interested in the Congressional Briefings. I spent a significant amount of my internship organizing an event for congressional interns to come to the NHC and inform them about what the NHC does and why it is a good resource for them. Something I found cool personally by organizing this event is that I had to make a lot of calls to congressional offices, so I familiarized myself with the names of a lot of senators and House reps, and now when I watch the news and these people are talked about or interviewed I know who they are or recognize their name at least! I am taking this year off of school and backpacking around Europe. In September I will continue my undergrad studies at Western Washington University and then hopefully go to grad school.
Christine Kelly: I interned for the National History Center from November 2011 to August 2012 serving as an assistant to the then associate director, Dr. Marian Barber, as I was working on my MA in history at the George Washington University. My time at the NHC afforded me a wonderful opportunity for professional development and greatly enriched the academic training I was receiving at GW. I learned how to organize budget information via spreadsheet and database manipulation, work with nonprofit data processing software, organize large-scale events, reach out to staff at partner institutions, conduct research for new initiatives, and perform a number of administrative tasks. My time at the NHC taught me about the vast organizational and administrative infrastructure on which the historical discipline relies, as I routinely worked with historians on a variety of programs for scholarly and public consumption. Presently, I am in my second year of a PhD program in American history at Fordham University in Bronx, NY. My areas of specialization include 20th-century American race, gender, and cultural history, with a particular interest in the relationship between music and social movements. Although I am currently in training for an academic track, I am open to pursuing many opportunities in the professions for historians and researchers after I complete my degree, an option that appears acutely viable to me from the training I received at the National History Center. My days at the NHC were some of my happiest in Washington, not least because of the sunny and encouraging personality I came to know in Marian, who trained her interns with intelligence, appreciation, and grace, as she approached all things in her work there.
Cristina Lastres: I interned at the National History Center from December 2012 until May 2013. During my internship I gained valuable insight into nonprofit fundraising while being able to attend various conferences that the center organized. I graduated George Washington University in 2013 from the Honors program with a double major in international affairs and history with a concentration in conflict and security. I am currently a sales coordinator at Travel + Leisure magazine, with plans to go to graduate school in the near future.
Michael Pierce: I interned with the National History Center from September 2012 through March 2013. I will always remain fond of the NHC because former associate director Marian Barber gave me my first chance to work in a professional environment. I was able to fine-tune professional skills I had yet to develop because of my lack of experience. I was able to move up the ladder to become a program associate for the Decolonization Seminar. This helped me develop event management, logistics, and further my communication skills. These are skills I used today at my current internship with Monumental Sports and Entertainment Foundation. I have been with them since September and will continue to be with them until the Capitals and Wizards are eliminated from the playoffs. I process donations, manage Jumbotron announcements, assist with fundraisers, manage the license program, and a few other trivial responsibilities. I also work pretty much every Wizards and Capitals home game, where I manage the foundation table on the first concourse. I am currently a part-time master’s student at Georgetown University, and I will be graduating this May with a degree in sports industry management.