Summer Internship: Annalise Ashman '24, Atlanta History Center
Name: Annalise Ashman
Class Year: 2024
Major: History of Art and Anthropology
Hometown: Tyrone, Ga.
Internship Organization: Atlanta History Center
Job Title: Summer Camp and Education Intern
Location: Atlanta, Ga.
What’s happening at your internship?
I am currently working as a Summer Camp and Education intern at the Atlanta History Center. During the month of June, we helped conduct three history camps, building lesson plans and leading themed activities. We are currently working on restructuring the Today’s Cherokee tour that highlights the history of the Cherokee Nation in the state of Georgia. This week, we have been compiling resources, from documentaries and songs to children’s books and journal articles, for staff members and educators to use in preparation for leading tours throughout the school year. The most interesting part of this process was finding new, creative ways to educate others about various cultures, and the hardships that they have faced. In the next few weeks, we will be building a training manual and presentation for our supervisors and educators to use. As a part of training, we will watch several documentaries, and then hold small-group discussions to ask and answer questions while creating a space toward building empathy and cultural competency. In addition to the training manual, we are also rebuilding an interactive presentation that includes language activities and timeline games for school-aged children to learn about the Cherokee language. One of the coolest parts of this process has been the ability to see the collection of artifacts housed by the museum, including traditional baskets and recreational gaming equipment.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I knew that I wanted to find a way to become more involved with local museums that I had visited throughout my childhood. The Atlanta History Center had been one of my favorite museums in the city and offered summer internships that would allow me to gain experience working in museums and the community. I applied to be a Summer Camp and Education intern, because I wanted the chance to help repurpose museum resources toward benefiting the community, especially children. After over a year of distance learning and virtual experiences, I also wanted to help offer kids a safe, fun way to learn about the museum and history during their summers. In applying, I quickly understood that the position would allow me to foster a close-knit team while engaging with community members and their families.
Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?
One of the main skills that I am learning from my internship has been the ability to adapt and remain flexible while working independently and collaboratively. Especially through virtual learning and coursework, I have become very accustomed to working independently and relying on my own set of resources to refer to. Although much of my work as an intern requires independent attention and research, often times constructive conversations will take place to reevaluate the goals of the project and perspectives of the intended audience. On the other hand, unexpected changes to resources and timelines, often due to changing COVID-19 restrictions, created new challenges that required flexibility and creative problem-solving. These skills are important to me in improving my ability to work in various environments and with different people. As the pandemic has revealed to me, the ability to adapt to new conditions is a valuable skill toward learning from others while building off of your strengths.
What is most rewarding about your internship?
The most rewarding part of my internship has been the ability to work with and develop a team. Because the pandemic has limited the ability to closely work with others, I was not sure about what a “team” atmosphere would look like. Fortunately, I was immediately welcomed in with socially distanced, open arms eager to get to know about my favorite time period of history and how I went from Georgia to Pennsylvania. Learning and working with my team members showed me how fun work can be, especially when passion becomes a crucial element to every presentation and project that is constructed.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.