AMST Majors Summer 2013

Learning Beyond the Classroom: Internships in American Studies

University of Notre Dame – Notre Dame, IN

Here is what many of our majors (but not all) have done over previous summers.

Fiona Paladino - NBC UNIVERSAL

This summer I interned at NBC Universal in the corporate communications department. I worked primarily in PR but I also helped out with HR and internal communications. I assisted in creating and standardizing a new hire packet for which I was given the opportunity to assist with internal video production. The program that I was involved in (Campus2Career) offered many events for all the interns varying from resume facelift seminars to breakfast with Matt Lauer. My favorite part of the internship was spending the day at the opening of NBCSports new facility in Connecticut filming and interviewing people for a promotional video. It was definitely a great summer. This year, I am the campus ambassador for the company and I think it would be a great opportunity for American Studies majors and JED minors to get involved in.

Mary Haley - CHERRY REPUBLIC CAFEimage_2_

This year, I spent my fourth summer working at the Cherry Republic Cafe in Glen Arbor,MI. I waitressed and supervised the cafe. Being an American Studies major allows me to learn how to talk to many of different types of people from completely different walks of life each day.

 

Lauren McGrath - PHOTOGRAPHY INTERN, SHEA ROGGIO

I kicked off the summer with a road trip across American with my best friend, too many travel atlases and a carload of really unhealthy snacks. Stops along the route on our great American adventure included St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, winding roads through the Rockies, Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and finally LA! It was an absolute blast, and the landscapes we saw and people we met along the way really expanded my own understanding of this amazing country we study and love.

After I dipped my feet in the Pacific and enjoyed LA for just one day, I flew home to Philly, where I worked for an amazing and prominent photographer on the East Coast named Shea Roggio. I gained quality experience, exposure to the industry, and artistic direction from my summer with him. Together we shot weddings, private fundraisers, engagement shoots and fashion spreads. Our work took us to really interesting and diverse places, including different parts of Philadelphia, New York City, the Hamptons, and Pennsylvania farmland.

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Sean Tenaglia - SUMMER SERVICE LEARNING PROGRAM

This summer I participated in an SSLP at My Brother's Keeper in Easton, MA where I helped deliver furniture and food to families in need.

The service I completed this past summer connects to American Studies because I was able to observe the harsh realities of poverty in America, and do my part to help combat its negative effects in my local community.

 

 

Sarah McCarthy - LIFEGUARD

After a trying fall semester in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and studying abroad in Spain during the Spring, I spent my summer at home, Breezy Point, NY, working as a lifeguard and relishing every moment on my beautiful beach after nearly ten months away.

This really made me think of what "home" truly means, and, in regard to American Studies, how significant it is in our culture ("you can't go home," "home for the holidays," "heading back home".)

 

Katie Fusco - CURATORIAL INTERN, DURHAM MUSEUM & EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS INTERN, OMAHA CHILDREN'S MUSEUM

This summer I completed two internships in Omaha, NE: a curatorial internship at the Durham Museum (a Smithsonian Affiliate museum) and an educational programs internship at the Omaha Children's museum.  At the Durham I independently researched and wrote my very own 20 object exhibit on "Remembering Lincoln," which should open before next summer.  I also worked in the museum's photo archives where I scanned and metadataed photos now available for viewing on the museum's website.  Additionally, I worked alongside the Manager of Learning Experiences and the Educational Outreach Coordinator at the Omaha Children's Museum (2nd most visited place in NE) as an Educational Programs intern.  I was instrumental in developing a science and literacy Dr. Seuss program entitled "Oh! The Places We'll Go!" outreach show and helped the Outreach Coordinator adjust and improve existing programs.  My American Studies major was crucial in developing my exhibit because I was able to use my critical thinking skills to examine why we remember Abraham Lincoln the way we do.  Furthermore, after taking an outside track "Contemporary Thinking in the Philosophy of Education" class with Prof. McKenna, I was able to put a lot of educational theories into practice in my work at the Children's Museum

 

Maria Kosse - EVENT PLANNER, RED FROG EVENTS

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I worked for Red Frog Events, an event planning company in the active entertainment industry, in Chicago, IL. Although not directly related to American Studies curriculum I was able to travel to three locations (Southern IL, Minnesota, and Colorado) which exposed me to separate regions and their differing geography, people, and customs. I saw a wide variety of American life!

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Mara Walsh - MERCHANDISING INTERN, ABERCROMBIE & FITCH

This summer, I worked as a merchandising intern for Abercrombie & Fitch at their corporate headquarters just outside of Columbus, OH. As an assistant merchant, my job was to act as a liaison between our in-house design and planning teams and our vendors and factories overseas. Working in a fast-paced, dynamic environment was really exciting, and my American Studies major equipped me with the tools I needed to communicate effectively and think critically to solve problems that came up on the job.

 

Kelsey Peterson - INTERN, REAL ESTATE DEPARTMENT, THE KROGER CO.

This past summer I interened in The Kroger Co.'s real estate department in Cincinnati, OH. The majority of my work involved heavy financial analysis, but I did spend some time reviewing leases and working on the selection/negotiation of a new distribution center. As such, this internship mainly called for my finance/business skills. However, I think my AMST classes prepared me to think critically and creatively, which made me comfortable with going that extra mile and doing more than just my basic requirements. Effective communication was a huge part of what my role entailed and my AMST classes definitely helped prepare me in that area as well.

 

Aubrey Butts - INTERN, HUNTINGTON LIBRARY

For nine weeks this past summer, I interned in the manuscripts department of the Huntington Library, during which I completed research on America's National Parks in preparation for a 2016 exhibit at the Huntington. My American Studies training prepared me for the major responsibility of analyzing multiple types of primary sources, ranging from government correspondence to travel diaries to railroad advertisements. The Huntington internship and American Studies classes have helped me to cultivate a greater appreciation for the work of professional historians, those individuals charged with responsibly presenting history for the benefit of future generations.

 

Meg Handelman - LONDON SUMMER STUDY ABROAD

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This past summer, I spent six weeks studying abroad as part of the Notre Dame London Program. During my time in Europe, I traveled many places such as Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Dublin, Galway, Madrid and Barcelona. I ended the trip with a road trip along the southern coast of Spain, through Provence, ending the French Riviera. I noticed the impact of my American Studies major every day, which forced me to have a critical eye, ask questions and learn about the realities of each place I visited. This was the first time I have spent an extended period of time living outside of America and the experience forced me to realize as much about American culture as I did about the cultures I was immersed in while abroad.

 

Ben Cooper - INTERN, SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR CORPS

Last summer I worked with Social Entrepreneur Corps, a micro finance and consulting agency in Ecuador. I believe that one of the best ways to learn about America is to leave it. That being said, I was able to spend my summer learning as much about American culture and politics as I learned about South American culture and politics. I utilized the tools, lenses and approaches to cultural analysis to learn more about both Americas.

 

Sarah Morris- WORKING ON HER CATTLE RANCH

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I spent the majority of this summer working on my family's cattle ranch where we live and produce grass-fed beef. Such work included, but was not limited to, moving, doctoring, and branding cattle; fixing fences, troughs, and gates; showing horses in our county's local rodeo (pronounced ro-day-oh); and delivering beef to 2,000 customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley, and Southern California. I was constantly reminded of the ties my summer work had to my future American Studies major, whether it was through the ecological, biological processes of sustainably managing thousands of acres of rangeland with herd animals; the recent food revolution that has spread across the country, promoting local, sustainable, quality food, of which we are active members; the rich ranching and vaquero heritage of my family and region; or the social dynamics and backgrounds of our diverse customer base.

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Marisa Iati - SUMMER SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT

This past summer, I completed an SSLP with Holy Cross Ministries in Park City, Utah. I worked at a summer program whose students were mostly from recently immigrated families, particularly from Mexico. This project taught me about the issues that lie at the intersection of education and immigration policies and the very real ways that these challenges affect both natural-born citizens and immigrants to the United States.

 

Maria Do - LEARNING RESOURCE CENTER COORDINATOR, BALFOUR-HESBURGH SCHOLARS PROGRAM

Last summer, I worked on campus with the Balfour-Hesburgh Scholars Program (BHSP) as the Learning Resource Center Coordinator while taking a history course on Abraham Lincoln's America funded by BHSP. BHSP gives out merit-based scholarships to students of African, Asian, Latin, or Native American descent and works to maintain a tight-knit network of "historically underrepresented" individuals who are connected by their academic vigor. This experience dealt directly with the relationship between race and educational opportunities, which ties nicely into my American Studies major. Furthermore, the history course I took is cross listed under American Studies. Additionally, learning about Abraham Lincoln's approach to the peculiar institution of slavery and his precedent for the civil rights movement gave an interesting view of race in America.