By Sara Allen, THC Human Resources Project Coordinator
Earlier this year, we announced that the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission is accepting applications for our 2016 Diversity Internship Program. With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful to catch up with some of our former interns to hear about their career paths after their internship at the THC.
But before we get to reminiscing, we’d like to remind everyone about a few important things related to the program. The paid internship is under the supervision of THC staff at our headquarters in Austin or our state historic sites. It was created to build interest in and awareness of historic preservation, specifically among students from underrepresented cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. The initiative targets undergraduate students to encourage their interest in pursuing fields of study in history, preservation, architecture, landscape architecture, archeology, downtown revitalization, and heritage tourism.
Applications must be submitted online and supporting documents postmarked by March 18, 2016. Click here to apply.
The following interns’ experiences reveal how the program was valuable to shaping their future career choices, and that their time with the THC helped develop strengths and skills that assisted in their future fields.
While completing her internship at the THC in 2007, Lee was working on her doctorate in the Department of Anthropology at The University of Texas at Austin. She received her PhD in August 2014, and entered the field of education at the College level.
“At the time I was doing the internship, I was considering a job in museum education or historic preservation,” Lee says. “While I did not enter either of these fields, the THC internship showed me the importance of better uniting the aims of archeology done in academic settings with what is undertaken by cultural resource management.”
While interning in the Archeology Division at the THC, Lee says her most positive experience was preparing a report on the THC’s RIP (record, investigate, and protect) efforts at the Bull Hill Cemetery. She worked with former State Archeologist Dr. Jim Bruseth and distributed the information to descendant community members throughout the U.S.
After her internship, Lee completed her dissertation in a project conducted by Prewitt and Associates, Inc., a local cultural resource management firm. She worked closely with the THC in meeting the compliance demands of the project, and this project type (public-oriented archeology) helped shape the type of work she wanted to continue to pursue.
“Through my experience at the THC, I strengthened my archival research skills—perhaps one of the most valuable skills I have obtained along with archaeological field methods—and my ability to work with various community members on historical and archaeological projects,” Lee says.
After completing her internship in 2012 at the THC, Brzostowski graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 and entered into the career of publishing.
“My career choice wasn’t necessarily influenced by my internship with the THC, but I did get to further develop my writing skills there,” Brzostowski says. “I was deciding between a career in publishing or one in museum studies while interning at the THC.”
After her internship, Brzostowski completed a Columbia Publishing course the summer after she graduated college that impacted her career choice. Her internship at the THC helped strengthen her ability to process and write information quickly, which assisted in her future career path.
“I felt like I got to take on the projects I was really interested in and make the most of my internship based on what I wanted to do,” Brzostowski says.
The Diversity Internship Program is funded through private gifts. To make a donation, please call 512-936-2189 or visit the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission website.