Internship Experiences

Carson Jarrell-Rourke '17 in period costumeCarson Jarrell-Rourke '17 spent the summer after sophomore year interning at Gadsby's Tavern Museum in Alexandria, VA. 

Describe your responsibilities as an intern.
I was able to do all manner of things since the staff itself was small. Usually I would write publications and do research, but highlights include working their Jane Austen Ball, doing research in the manuscript room at the Library of Congress, and sitting in on a meeting to discuss how to capitalize on the new PBS show ‘Mercy Street’ with other museum staff and tourism directors from around Washington, D.C.  My favorite part, however, was when I got to do some hands-on work with layers of wallpaper dating from the 1700s. That was amazing. 

How did your undergraduate coursework help you on the job?
When it comes to using the skills I've learned as a History major, all of our work in class on research skills was especially important.  In addition, the entire internship was definitely collaborative, so I was able to get more experience working as an equal with people more experienced than I am.  

What lessons did you take away from the experience?
Because I was able to do so much I got to learn what I really care about in the museum field – material culture and research.  This is great, because I will be able to study Archaeology abroad at the University of Edinburgh and explore that passion more!  I also was able to make professional contacts that will definitely come in handy in the future.

 

Wesley Brandemuehl '16 spent the summer after junior year interning at Chegg, a Santa Clara-based company that specializes in online textbook rentals and tutoring for high school and college students.

Describe your responsibilities as an intern.
As consumer insights intern, I was largely in charge of running the company's external surveys. By the time August rolled around, I was involved in the whole process, taking requests and writing, programming, running, and analyzing the surveys. That last responsibility included not only running the numbers, but drawing conclusions and then presenting them in a digestible format. Most of these surveys were intended to help us better target our demographics, but I ran a couple for the CEO's use as well.  

How did your undergraduate coursework help you on the job?
Mostly, I utilized my research skills, presentation skills, and work ethic, as well as the statistical skills I had picked up in my economics courses. What I needed to learn were skills specific to surveys: how to word questions, assemble panel demographics, and how to program the things.

What lessons did you take away from the experience?
First, the internship confirmed that I work best in a fairly rigid work structure. Second, it showed me that research is definitely a field I'd like to consider as a career.