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Career Services

Internships and Field Placements

  • Samantha Swain

Samantha Swain ’16

Major(s)

English

Hometown

St. Peters, Mo.

Name of Business/Organization

Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago

Internship Position

Oral History Intern

Give three words that sum up your internship experience.

Educational, Interesting, Low-pressure

How did you learn about your internship?

“I first learned about my internship through the list of internship suggestions on the Carthage in Chicago page. I believe PMML has an on-going relationship with Carthage because a student from last semester’s program also interned with PMML.”

Describe your internship.

“My job is to assist the oral history department in editing transcriptions and writing biographies for the oral history webpage. PMML interviews veterans about their experiences in war and I edit the transcriptions of these interviews to make them more readable. I also use the information in the interviews to write biographies for the veterans, which are posted along with the interviews on the web page. Sometimes I also search for pictures online to represent the veteran’s story, which are also posted on the web page with the interview.”

What do you enjoy most about your internship? What are some of the challenges?

“I really enjoy hearing each veteran’s unique story. My internship provides me the opportunity to learn a lot about military history, which is something I was unfamiliar with before. I also enjoy writing biographies because I get to take a break from editing to exercise my writing skills. Some of these interviews are pretty lengthy; they usually average around 35 pages. Sometimes it is a little challenging to stay focused, so I have to remind myself to take small breaks. It is easy to zone out after staring at a computer screen for most of the day, so I find it helpful to do other small things to break up my time.”

How does your internship fit with your long-term career goals?

“As an English major, the number one question I get asked is: ‘Do you want to teach?’ However, I believe there are many different opportunities available to English majors outside the the realm of teaching. My writing and editing skills can be applied to many different fields that one may not initially think of. There are so many companies that seek individuals with strong English backgrounds, and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library is only one of them. I learned a lot from my internship, and my writing and editing skills have really improved. PMML provided me with valuable experience for my future writing career.”

During your internship search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?

“I highlighted my relevant skills and experience in my cover letters and resume. I also made sure to dress professionally for my interviews and promptly respond to employers who reached out to me.”

What did you find to be the most helpful during your internship search process?

“I asked the Career Services office for help with my resume and I set up a mock interview. It is really helpful to know what to expect before walking into an actual interview because being well-prepared takes off some of the pressure.”

Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?

“Do not hesitate to apply for internships. Not only will they will provide you with valuable, resume-building experience, but you will learn a lot from the entire process. It is very important to learn how to search for a job, write a cover letter, and be professionally interviewed before you graduate, so you are better prepared for the future.”

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