by Chloe Bailey
Elm Staff Writer
Are you looking for a fulfilling and worthwhile opportunity this summer to work at some the nation’s most prestigious centers for the arts and humanities? The C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience’s Explore America Internships offer Washington College students the opportunity to be a paid intern at a number of world renowned museums, including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and Colonial Williamsburg.
These 10 week programs are sponsored by the Starr Center in its quest to foster innovative approaches to the American past and present. By sponsoring resident fellowships, talks, and other free programs, the Starr Center strives to maintain the integrity of written history, specifically in upholding the legacy of Washington College and its namesake. The Explore America Internships embody this call to preserve the country’s history while maintaining a focus towards the future.
According to Assistant Director Jean Wortman, the internship is designed to enable students to “explore America” both literally and figuratively as they encounter first-hand the country’s artistic and historical treasures.
With the ability to do hands-on experiential learning in a number of different locations, the internships do not fail to deliver on this promise. “
For example, one intern worked with the curator researching a major upcoming exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Wortman said, “Another had the chance to spend the night at the National Archives assisting with a kids sleepover program, another worked at the Library of Congress planning their National Book Festival in DC.”
One of last year’s interns, junior Sarah Graff, enjoyed her experience at the National Archives. Working alongside experts in historical preservation and archiving, Graff was responsible for educational archiving and giving guided tours.
This opportunity to work outside of the normal parameters for archiving provided Graff with “a wonderful experience…and [she] enjoyed watching her fellow interns find their passions along the way.”
Who should apply to this internship program? Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be a history or humanities major in order to be considered for a position. The application process is open to students of all years, including seniors who will be graduating in May.
Wortman said, “Any student who is looking for a rewarding summer experience, who is curious, creative, dedicated, and shows passion and purpose,” has excellent potential.
“This is a great opportunity for students to explore potential careers in the arts, history, preservation, non-profit work, social justice work, teaching, writing, marketing and communications. It will also open up avenues for thesis research and professional networking.”
Such an enriching opportunity is nearly unheard of in the sphere of paid internships, especially in regards to this year’s competitive $4,500 stipend.
In order to apply, visit the Explore America Internship page of the C. V. Starr Center’s website. There, you will find a complete step by step guide of requirements for submitting and application for summer 2017. The March 1 deadline is rapidly approaching, so be sure to look into this opportunity before it passes.