Anyone who has gone through this Public History program can probably relate to how I feel right now. With just 3 weeks left in the term, there is SO much work still to be done. Yet, it’s very hard to focus on school because I’m much more excited and interested in the next part of the program.
In just a few weeks, I will be packing up and heading to the sunny prairies for my internship at Canada’s History Magazine (sorry, Southern Ontario, I know it’s cold in Winnipeg, but at least the sun helps keep your spirits up). I’m looking forward to my internship for many reasons:
#1. Canada’s History is doing great things with new media and utilizing the internet. In addition to publishing the magazine, they have a ton of content online and they really seem to be exploring the potential of the web. I like technology for technology’s sake, but even more importantly, this signals to me that they’re an energetic and innovative organization and I’m really inspired by the atmosphere this creates.
#2. I’ll be working with Joel Ralph, the magazine’s Education and Outreach Manager. I’ve always been interested in education, but never quite felt like I should be a teacher, so I’m excited to get involved with other forms of teaching (isn’t that what public history is all about?). Also, Joel is a graduate of Western’s public history program and did his internship at Canada’s History a few years ago, so I plan on picking his brain about the field, job hunting and the ultimate question – how did you turn your internship into a job (which is every intern’s goal and why Joel is a bit of a celebrity in the program).
#3. I have a (not so) secret dream of being an editor. The job is a bit of a mystery to me. What exactly is it? How do you become one? It seems that it is something I might enjoy and be good at (despite the fact that I ended that phrase in a preposition), so I’m pleased that my history internship landed me at a magazine. I’m looking forward to learning the ins and outs of publishing.
As part of the “energy and innovation” I referred to earlier in this post, Canada’s History has put me to work already. Next week, I will be attending the national Canadian Museums Association conference here in London. I have gathered a few of my peers and we will be forming a “News Action Team” for the conference. We will be speaking with presenters, panelists and participants and finding out what’s happening at the CMA this year. Our interviews will be filmed and featured on the magazine’s website, so that the public and history professionals can learn about the conference.
The conference’s theme this year is “Evolve or Die” – a bit drastic, perhaps, but accurate for the most part. It’s time for museums to liven up and engage with the public. I’m looking forward to learning about new approaches and initiatives in the field.
Are you going to be at the CMA this year? Are you interested in an interview and sharing your experiences at the CMA? Feel free to leave a comment, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or tweet (jo_dawson). Or just track us down at the conference – we’ll be the ones in the awesome Tshirts!