Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

David Benac

Second Advisor

Eli Rubin


My goal in my thesis is to lay out where my three internships were, what they consisted of and what was expected of me, and what I gained from each of them in terms of what I can use in the future as examples of what works in a museum.

Internships are required for Public history students at Western Michigan University and consist of 240 hours in preferably varying environments. When my first internship was a success, I decided to conduct two more internships beyond the 240 hours that I had completed with the first. I was the first Public History student at WMU to conduct an internship abroad and the first to have an internship held mostly in a different language from English. The reason I pursued this topic was as a personal reflection and critique into what I have accomplished so far and what I was able to use from my studies as applied to real museum settings. By conducting this review, I was able to pointedly, with an inside view, make critical decisions about what works, what doesn’t, and how I need to continue to improve and move forward in the museum world. The three Museums that I held an internship with were the Music House Museum in Acme, Michigan, the Air Zoo in Portage, Michigan, and the Haus der Geschichte in Bonn, Germany. The experiences I had help to illustrate what works in museum settings and what could still be improved upon in the museums I was interning at. From the Haus der Geschichte, I found that the other two museums I interned at held room for improvement concerning their connected Social Media as well as their opportunities in multilingualism as well as international and national networking. From the Air Zoo I learned that delegation and diligent work can transform a collection space, something that would be extremely beneficial to institutions like the Music House Museum. From the Music House Museum, I ascertained the importance of use of space, in that lack of space does not mean limited opportunities, and that by not letting yourself be limited, opportunities greatly expand, even for small institutions. I left my internships with a new appreciation for what goes into running museums, from collections spaces, to social media, to larger building management. The goals that I have set for myself as a result are to apply to my professional career, and they orbit around maintaining related social media accounts to reach a wide range of people, not being disheartened by space, but see the opportunities therein, and to pursue international as well as national connections to network and build healthy relationships. The introspection I gained through my thesis has set a course for me to be a contributing and forward thinking member of the Public History field and will continue to impact my decisions and perspective within my career path.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

History Commons