By Olivia Montes
Elm Staff Writer
Over the summer, Washington College students took part in a range of internship opportunities through the Explore America Summer Internship Program through the Starr Center for the Study of American Experience.
According to the WC website, the Starr Center “offers an array of unique opportunities for WC students,” including internships at locations promoting a widespread knowledge of history, such as the Smithsonian Institute and George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.
While most students who approach these internships are history majors, anyone on campus can apply for Explore America Internships regardless of major. These internships are designed to help students gain the skills and experiences they need to become successful in their future endeavors.
This summer, junior Rebecca Kanaskie worked as a copyediting intern at the Jackson Hole Daily, a local newspaper in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
“Working as a copyediting intern at a newspaper really opened my eyes to all the possibilities I have career-wise as an English major” Kanaskie said. “I would have never been able to have this experience without the Starr Center and my education at WC, and that means the world to me.”
Kanaskie believes her experience has helped her as both an individual writer and a member of a team.
“As a copyeditor, I would be assigned an article on a page and would have to edit the content down to fit in a certain sized text box; I would proofread and edit the story for clarity as well, and then create a new headline that included key words associated with the story,” said Kanaskie. “I would also read pages edited by my coworkers and check them for mistakes before signing off on them. It was challenging work because you are editing stories that entire communities will read, so it is important that all the information is conveyed properly and efficiently.”
Through the Explore America internship program, the Starr Center continues to provide students opportunities to apply themselves in their career pathways in an ever-growing, fast-paced world.
“Even though print newspapers are diminishing, the skills I learned as a copyeditor are transferrable to a myriad of other jobs and media outlets,” Kanaskie said. “Having this experience under my belt not only gives me an edge in the field but gives me the confidence to know that I have this ability and that I actually love the work.”
Junior Tamia Williams also got an internship through the Starr Center’s Explore America program. She worked as a publishing intern at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., exploring opportunities that went beyond her own imagination.
“I was able to view the publishing process for a different kind of text,” Williams said. “Even though it wasn’t the creative writing editing/publishing that I usually aimed for, it still taught me about the process. Having to review a manuscript multiple times, how to meet with the author, what contractual lingo fits the publisher or author the best, and more.”
“I wanted to intern through the Starr Center because I viewed the program as a great opportunity to gain real-world experience while venturing out of my comfort zone,” Williams said. “I’ve never interned at a federal agency before, so acquiring that first-hand experience, and the ability to put it on my resume, was great. Also, I stayed in Washington, D.C. for the summer, which taught me how to survive in a new city.”
Through the Starr Center’s Explore America Internship Programs, students are able to gain real-world experience in career paths they’re interested in. The Starr Center holds on-campus internship positions during the school year, but those positions have already been filled for the semester.