This past Sunday I received a BA in History and English during the undergraduate commencement ceremony at SUNY New Paltz. Now that I am thrust into the real world, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my time here at Historic Huguenot Street.
I have been an intern at Huguenot Street since August 2011. I’ve done everything from transcribe letters to playing the role of Maria Terwilliger Deyo for the Haunted Halloween Tour. I’ve learned about New Paltz’s history in depth, which has made me feel closer to the community that I have called home these last four years. However, the most important things that I will take away from my internship are the skills that I have learned for my future career.
This fall, I will be moving to Boston to attend Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science to pursue a Masters in Library Science and Digital Archiving. A Digital Archivist is someone who uses the newest technology in scanning, restoration and exhibition to preserve artifacts and make them more available to the public. At Huguenot Street, I have learned how to scan 18th century documents, how to identify different types of photographs, and how to use these items to learn and teach others about the history that took place on the Street. I have learned how to create digital exhibits for Historic Huguenot Street which can be seen on HRVH.org, which also collaborates with other historical societies in the Hudson Valley. Most importantly, I have learned about how to write meta-data (information about an artifact) that is clear and accurate.
All of the skills I have acquired at Huguenot Street have made me a competitive candidate for other internships and potential employers in the future. I have already secured a summer internship with the curator at the Walt Whitman Birthplace on Long Island by my house so I can continue to expand my resume before I leave for Boston.
I cannot stress enough the value of interning, especially if you seek a history related career. Internships can build your resume immensely and could mean the difference between being qualified or unqualified for a job. Sometimes the days are long, and sometimes it takes a while to learn the tricks of the trade, but more often than not, the days are filled with the adventure of learning something new.
Leaving Historic Huguenot is bittersweet. I am excited to be off to an exciting future in an interesting career but the time I have spent here has been some of the most enjoyable during my years at New Paltz. I’m excited to see Huguenot Street continue to grow as an institution while I grow as a professional, knowing that the institution provided an incredible springboard for me into my career. I hope that the connection I have made with this place will never be lost.
-Kate Long, Intern at Historic Huguenot Street
*The title includes the phrase “See you later” in Dutch, French, and English, respectively. The reason for using Dutch and French is to make a nod to the Dutch and French heritage of Historic Huguenot Street.
For more information on what I have worked on at Historic Huguenot Street, check out these links!