An Intern’s Journey; Chapter 10: Working from Home

Last week I talked about social media and showed how consistency and a good social media plan can really help a historic site and museum grow their digital foot print! This week, I decided to take a break from talking about the various projects and tasks I do on a daily basis and instead talk about my experience of doing an internship at home! I know many of us have probably had to quickly adjust to working from home and while sometimes it might seem like a dream (when else are you able to wear your pajamas to work?), it comes with its own difficulties!

So what is it like doing an internship from home? For my other classmates in my public history class, many of us are in the same position! We have meetings through teleconferencing software, we either sit in bed or at a desk and do our daily tasks, and for most of the day we are in the comfort of our own home. As places begin to slowly reopen, some have had the chance to work on site at the museum or organization they are interning at, but for myself, I am still working away at home!

My daily schedule consists of a morning meeting call with Grant through Microsoft Teams. This is a great way for Grant and I to bounce ideas off each other and see what is possible to do! It’s also a nice way to have some interaction with someone other than my roommate! I take notes during the meeting to help keep track of what I’ve done and what still needs to be done for the day or week.

After the meeting, I usually grab a quick coffee to help me wake up and keep me energized for the rest of the day. I then sit down and get to work on various projects; social media reports, social media plans, website development, blog writing, digitizing collections, working on my Dear Dr. Banting exhibit and so on and so forth! I work on these for a few hours until my stomach either tells me its time to eat- or Grant reminds me to take my lunch!

Do people often talk about what they do on break? While I eat my college student lunch (consisting of some sort of pasta, rice or other cheap grain!) I typically put on a show and watch Kitchen Nightmare, Hell’s Kitchen or Cutthroat Kitchen, I have a weird obsession with cooking shows!

After lunch, I continue working on whatever task needs to be done until around 5:00 when the work day is finally over! At that point, I close all the tabs and shut down all the other applications related to work that I have open. Grant often has to remind me to stop working, as I lose track of time when I am really invested in a project.

While the internships this year for the Western Public History class are vastly different from the years prior, but this still has been such a rewarding experience. I’d love nothing more than to go and work in the museum, guide a tour, work with the collections, etc… But Grant has been trying his hardest to ensure that this internship is just as rewarding, and it definitely has been! This internship has been absolutely amazing and I have already learned so much. I am excited to continue to work under Grant’s guidance for the next several weeks as we prepare for the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the idea of Insulin and my Dear Dr. Banting exhibit launch!

Takeaways:

  • Always have a good cup of coffee while you’re working (I really enjoy iced coffee!)
  • Take stretch breaks, if you’re working in bed or at a desk for several hours, get up and do a lap around your house just to wake yourself up!
  • Remember to take your lunch break!
  • Its okay to take a step back for five minutes, its important to take care of yourself during times like this!
  • I can’t wait for Banting House NHS to reopen so I can have a taste of what its like to work inside the building!

This post was written by Kat MacDonald, an intern at Banting House NHSC. Kat is currently completing her M.A. in Public History at Western University.


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