By KYLE LEHMANN
Summer is approaching fast and Mary Washington students will be soon returning to their lives back home. For many college students, especially upperclassmen, summertime means finding internships.
While many UMW students may intern with family members, this is not the case for all.
Sophomore historic preservation major Sasha Erpenbach is pursuing a more traditional style of internship. She has interviews lined up for two potential internships for the upcoming summer.
The first one would be as an education and collections intern at George Mason’s home, Gunston Hall. The second one would be as an advancement and development intern at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. As a historic preservation major, Erpenbach said that she is excited for either internship, despite how different they are.
“Gunston Hall is a small house museum while VMFA [Virginia Museum of Fine Arts] is a large museum that welcomes tons of visitors each day,” said Erpenbach. “Both are very different in the experience that I will have, but I look forward and am thoroughly excited for either of them.”
An alternative for many students at UMW is the option to create your own internship. Mackenzie Hard, a junior American studies major in the secondary education program, is pursuing this path. Hard heard of this opportunity from her academic advisor. She found the application form on the UMW website and is trying to turn her annual summer work in Colonial Williamsburg into an internship for credit.
“My plan is to research women in historic 18th century trades and talk to other women working in trades,” said Hard. “My hope is to find out who was working and what exactly they were doing. I’ll eventually use some of this research for future classes and my senior thesis.”
The form required to pursue the option of creating your own internship is provided by Bianca Hightower, the Assistant Director of the Center for Career and Professional Development. This form indicates a standardized procedure that any student could follow should they decide to pursue this approach to internships. However, just like any traditional internship, the create-your-own-internship track requires substantial effort.
Carina Martin, a junior biology major, is also choosing an unconventional path with her internship. Currently, she is in the process of trying to intern with a national security-oriented think tank called TechINT, which is located only a short distance away from campus.
“I found out about the internship at the Summer Job and Internship Fair,” said Martin. “I am excited because it would be for a research analyst position and would help me in my future research-focused career.”
Her work, if she is selected, would focus on artificial intelligence and drones. While this is not the route she expected to take per her biology major, Martin is “interested in the opportunity” because “[she wants] to protect people.” “I am excited to try something new. It’ll be a good opportunity for me to get experience,” said Martin.