AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT WHAT OUR INTERNS HAVE BEEN UP TO THIS SUMMER
This summer our interns, Antonio and Tessa, have been at our side developing various projects with personal twists. They worked on Visitor Services and Interpretation at Wistariahurst. This internship allowed first-hand experience with all types of visitors during our public museum hours and programs. This included responding to public inquiries in person and by phone, providing guest registration support at events, working with community partners and vendors, and booking programs. Additionally, the interns were given tasks related to the interpretation of history for a public audience.
Antonio interned at the museum last summer, but decided to come back for another year. Coming here for the first time made him feel like a “fish out of water” since he lives in Puerto Rico. He’s helped us in weddings, graduations, concerts, activities, self-guided tours, and developing new content for our social media and blog. He looks forward to visiting us in the future as he is returning to Puerto Rico. Antonio is at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez campus in his second year majoring in Industrial Microbiology.
“Wistariahurst totally helped me adapt to Holyoke, and I’ve loved every minute of it.”
Tessa loved this job and everyone she worked with. Tessa worked on filing, archival organization, and the “soon-to-be-famous” Explore-a-Drawer. She was fascinated with the opportunities presented to her this summer. She has the initiative to do anything that is presented in her path, but don’t expect her to go to the third floor (it’s too creepy for her). She is a mother of two and has one more on the way. Additionally, she is a full-time college student at Bard Micro College.
“I think it’s the first time I can say I truly enjoyed working, especially being a mom of two and expecting, as well as being a full-time college student.”
At the end of their internship, we interviewed them about their experiences as an intern. Also, their feedback was used to learn more about ways we could improve for future interns. Here’s what Antonio and Tessa had to say…
Antonio: I got more involved and the new projects I got to work on because it let me explore more while testing my skills.
Tessa: Being involved with bigger projects (Explore-a-drawer, mailing list) because it taught me essential office basics and organization skills.
Low Points of the Internship
Antonio: Having to leave earlier than I expected and not being able to finish the projects I started.
Tessa: My low point was leaving. Mainly because I grew to love [the museum] and its history.
Did it meet their expectations?
Antonio: It did. I expected to work on new things differently from last year, and that’s exactly what happened.
Tessa: It did. I expected to be just making phone calls and sitting in front of a computer, but really, I got to experience almost everything.
How did they feel about the responsibility they were given?
Antonio: I felt that the level of responsibility we were given was appropriate to the internship.
Tessa: I felt it was reasonable, especially given my lack of work history. It wasn’t stressful, but still gave me challenge.
How did they rate the internship?
Antonio: Between 1-10, I’d rate it a 10. Not only did I practice my office skills, I learned more about the history of Holyoke, which has now become my home.
Tessa: Absolute 10. I loved it here and the people I met while working here.
Antonio: I would recommend this internship to other because it is a perfect way to spend the summer. It opens doors to new experiences and it connects with people from around the city.
Tessa: Definitely. It’s a great learning process and awesome opportunity to a beginner’s career or job in office work. It’s a positive environment and all around fantastic experience.
What was their favorite project they got to work on?
Antonio: My favorite project was Garden Greetings. I loved getting to know more about the gardeners and being able to share their underrated work with the community.
Tessa: My favorite project was the Explore-a-Drawer. Working on anything with another intern was my favorite, but I loved the learning experience that came along with this project.
What dream project would they like to work on?
Antonio: I would like to plan a game night at the museum where children could spend the day playing board games and lawn games. Also, I would like to help organizing a haunted tour for Halloween.
Tessa: I would’ve loved to help organize an event. I’m not sure about what, but if the opportunity came up, I’d love it.
For more information or to apply to internships at Wistariahurst, please contact Kate Preissler at [email protected]