It’s weird to say that this is the last chapter of this journey! I can’t believe it’s the end of August already, it feels like just yesterday it was March and I was still in class! My last day of work here at Banting House NHS is on the 28th, but I wanted to dedicate this last blog post to be a reflection of my time spent here! Its a recap for our readers, a reflection for myself and also may provide volunteers and future interns an inside look into how rewarding this experience has been!
I was able to work on so many different projects over the course of my internship such as; graphic designs, social media plans, exhibit planning and execution, researching and prep for future projects and exhibits, book layouts, planing for World Diabetes Day 2020 and so much more (make sure you follow us on social media to see some of these projects be realized)!
Of course, the pride and joy of my internship was creating the Dear Dr. Banting exhibit. It started off with an idea of a coffee table book that would features pictures of the letters (in a similar format to an art book) and eventually turned into a fully fledged exhibit. A book centered on the letters is still very much a possibility, but for the time being it remains as an online exhibit currently! Having the chance to go through all the letters and read everyone’s different experiences and perspectives was really eye-opening! It continuously gave me the motivation to put my best work forward with the project. What’s really exciting is that the work that was done for the online exhibit could easily turn into a physical exhibit down the line. It’s incredibly rewarding to see something you put so much hard work into become a reality. Stay tuned for the exhibit launch on November 14th, 2020!
In general, this year was certainly a strange one for internships- I did mine from the comfort of my home since we couldn’t re-open while I was completing it. I did miss out on the opportunity to work on site and with the collection, guide tours, and work on some projects that had to be cancelled/postponed due to quarantine. Despite that, Grant ensured that my internship was still rewarding- and it certainly was! I was able to further develop social media, communication, research, writing, teamwork, organization, coordination, exhibit planning, event planning, and so many other skills! It really gave me a taste of what its like to work in a museum and has definitely shown me that working in the museum field is what I want to do. The overall end goal is the Canadian War Museum and I know the skills I learned here at Banting House will help me if I ever get a job there!
For those in public history who may not know where they’d like to do an internship- or for those who are still in their undergraduate studies looking to volunteer. I highly recommend reaching out to your local museums, heritage sites, and organizations! A lot of these sites would be happy to have some help on various different projects and in turn you gain valuable skills and potentially good references to use in the future!
So thank you to Grant and Banting House for all the amazing things you taught me, allowed me to collaborate on, and be apart of! This is an internship I will never forget!
Takeaways from my internship:
- Never be afraid to reach out to organizations, heritage sites, museums etc and ask about open positions, internships or volunteer opportunities. That’s how I got my placement here! I just asked Grant one day and well, here I am!
- Look into funding through the organization or externally! I was lucky enough to get a Canada Summer Jobs grant through the government which helped off-set some of the costs since my internship itself was unpaid. For those working in the heritage, culture and history fields, this can be a great way to gain experience and help with any financial needs!
- Be prepared to roll with the punches, you may be needed to change the project you’re working on at the drop of dime- so its a great way to develop adaptability skills.
- Never be afraid to suggest ideas or projects, the worse they can say is no- But I am lucky that Grant considered every idea I had and I was even able to realize some of them!
Thank you to everyone who accompanied me on this journey! I hope you enjoyed my weekly ramblings and were able to learn a little more about Banting House and the work that we do! Until next time!
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.