I was a graduate student for longer than I like to admit. I enrolled after getting my undergrad, in 2009 but in 2011, I felt discouraged and decided to take a break. I was working in a sales office until 2015, when I decided I needed to pursue my degree again. Part of the reason I decided to go back was the realization that there were internship opportunities that I had not taken advantage of before my break. I saw the internships as a great way to explore career options and gain real-life experience so that hopefully, I wouldn’t have to work in sales for the rest of my career. (I only wish I’d noticed them sooner!)
I was hired to work for the Ozarks Lesbian and Gay Archives (OLGA), making oral history interviews and I loved it. Despite nerves as interviews approached and minor setbacks in scheduling, this adventure was unforgettable. I enjoyed meeting every new person I interviewed and learned more about the LGBT community in Springfield. I relished working within this facet of public history and I left the semester with a lot of personal and professional progress.
My second internship, as an archives intern at the History Museum on the Square, was not directly associated with Missouri State but I acquired it because of my alumni status. As an intern at the museum, I worked hands-on with archival collections and learned a lot about archival arrangement and description. It also afforded great networking opportunities and when the current archivist at the museum found a new position, I was able to apply. I am glad to say I am now the archivist at the History Museum on the Square. I love every minutes of it and am forever grateful that I went back to school and I was able to take advantage of the internships offered at MSU.