"...I took [the] public history course last spring semester. I graduated in July...[and at] the end of August, I was offered a well-paying job at a law firm in...a suburb of Chicago. Although I have no previous law experience, the firm felt that my history degree prepared me for this job...[The] public history course was difficult, but it also gave me a great deal of confidence in my abilities."
-Tricia Roose

One of the most common experiential education options at Ball State is the internship. Internships result in academic credit, are professionally supervised, relate classroom learning and actual work, typically involve one-time work experiences, occasionally provide financial compensation, and are approved, coordinated, and evaluated by students’ academic departments.

There is much to be gained by both students and agencies that participate in the BSU Department of History’s Public History Internship Program.  Students participating in an internship are able to confirm their choice of academic major and explore and refine their career objectives. They also learn essential job-search skills that can help them in the future, gain valuable work experience that improves their prospects for employment after graduation, acquire greater independence, confidence, and maturity as they are challenged in the workplace, and earn academic credit while becoming familiar with how history is practiced in a public, non-academic setting.

Agencies who train history interns enjoy multiple benefits. These organizations profit from their student’s fresh ideas, energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the history discipline and gain an enhanced awareness of state-of-the-art curriculum content and disciplinary trends.  They also develop working relationships with university faculty and enjoy access to their institutional resources as well as have proven candidates with on-site training and work experience to consider for permanent employment when entry-level openings become available.  

Internship programs represent an ideal partnership between the academic and professional public history communities. This partnership gives students an education that is both theoretical and practical while enabling them to gain paraprofessional experience through serving the needs of history agencies and organizations.