Though most internships take place in the Bloomington/Normal area, students have worked as interns across the state and even outside it. Students typically work in archives, museums, historical societies and sites, and other history-related institutions. Students have also worked in non-profit and governmental agencies and with businesses.
Past placements in the Bloomington-Normal area have included: McLean County Museum of History, David Davis Mansion, ISU University Archives, the ISU Students' Legal Services Office and Country Insurance and Financial Services. Placements outside the local area have included: Early American Museum, Mahomet; Weldon Springs State Recreation Area, Clinton; Jefferson County Museum & Village, Mt. Vernon; Elgin Area Historical Society & Museum; Peoria Historical Society; Caterpillar, Inc., Peoria; DuSable Museum of of African-American History Chicago; Chicago History Museum; Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design, Quincy; and the LaSalle County Historical Society.
Students determine the content of internships in cooperation with supervising agencies. Most interns are interested in spending time at historical institutions or agencies. They work with document collections, artifacts, exhibitions, or educational programs and develop skills in research, writing, editing, and interacting with the public. Other students have found opportunities that on the surface had little to do with history but that have enabled them to apply skills that they developed as students in history.
Internships typically pay only in experience, though occasionally an internship may lead to employment within an organization or business. Most often, the practical benefits - aside from course credit - are that internships improve skills, broaden contacts, and maybe strengthen resumes.
The History Department limits internships to qualified majors, students in the history education sequence, and history graduate students.
Students may earn up to 3 credit hours for a semester's worth of internship. For each credit hour a student must complete at least 55 hours of work at a site, plus the additional time devoted to preparation of a midterm report and a final paper. Be aware that a site may require students to commit hours beyond what the department itself requires.
Site supervisors are the mentoring professionals from whose knowledge and expertise students will benefit. In consultation with the intern, site supervisors devise tasks that will introduce interns to the historical or professional activities that the sponsoring institution represents. Supervisors and interns meet on a regular basis to review the intern's work, discuss the skills and knowledge that the internship is intended to impart, consider the contribution of the internship to the institution's program, and other relevant issues. At the end of the internship, supervisors will submit a brief evaluation of the intern's work.
The site supervisor will submit an evaluation that will play a significant role in determining an intern's final grade. In addition to whatever tasks interns are assigned at the internship site, interns must also prepare:
For more information regarding the report and essay see Guidelines for the Midterm Report and Final Essay.
All of the necessary documents are available at Application and Forms.