by Ellen Fogel
Whoever said being an intern was doing the grunt work of projects, or solely for data entry positions, was wrong about my experience at Government House Research Library. During my summer internship, I was given the freedom and flexibility to create my own project, develop underrepresented parts of the collection, and to put those objects on display. Throughout my time there, I was given an incredible amount of professional experience in the field of Museum Studies and Interpretation.
Under the supervision of my Intern Supervisor, Matt Armstrong, I learned how to adapt my larger ideas into practical and deliverable ones that were then well received by the public. I developed an exhibit to represent the almost forgotten heritage of the reconstruction of approximately twenty-two buildings along St. George Street in downtown St. Augustine, Florida. Given permission to take advantage of forgotten parts of the collection that I noticed upon my first day on the internship while tagging along a review by the University of Florida representatives, my exhibit highlighted the tools used by the men and women during the twentieth-century reconstruction. These were key to captivating visitors and luring them into discussion.
This experience taught me much about working in the field of Public History in the long run, and most importantly showed me the importance of important networking. I was fortunate enough to meet some of the most skilled experts in various fields in the St. Augustine area, and their advice allowed me to hone down on the particular field that I am most interested in pursuing at this point in time. I have known for a while that I wanted to pursue a career in the management of Heritage Tourism intertwined with Sustainability, and through this internship, I am able to feel confident in that choice.