Interning remotely from Michigan, CAPA London student Abigale Mumby writes about her experience promoting history education in the UK. She expands on how she used her history background and European studies knowledge in her projects to create study guides for A-Level students. Find out more about her journey and how this led to her latest position at a museum in Michigan.
This past summer, I participated in a Remote Global Internship with CAPA. I am a senior History student at Michigan State University with a minor in European Studies. My host site was in London, and I completed all of my work from the comfort of my home in East Lansing, Michigan. I was looking forward to taking part in a multicultural experience that didn’t require me to travel overseas, since neither my budget nor the coronavirus pandemic would let me travel. I was also looking forward to building skills specific to my field of study.
I interned with the Historical Association UK, a national charity promoting history education across the United Kingdom and Ireland. During my internship, I helped the administration organize webinars on topics including diversity in history education, which is a major topic of interest for me here in the United States. I also created study guides for students preparing to take A-Level exams in modern British history. Through my internship and the accompanying Global Internship Course, I learned how to communicate effectively across international boundaries as well as strategies to help me work professionally in my field and in a global remote setting. The mock interview and career workshop helped me target my resume, cover letters, and interview responses to better suit the position that I was applying for and led directly to me landing my current position as an archivist intern for a museum in Michigan.
More personally, this experience helped to refocus my career goals. I’ve always had some trouble envisioning what career field I would like to go into. History is a broad field, and many career paths are not immediately apparent until you find a certain niche. I found my niche through my internship position with CAPA and the Historical Association UK. Because this internship was fully online, I was forced into an environment that I was unfamiliar and uncomfortable with at first. I was not a very tech-savvy student and working entirely online helped me grow exponentially in this area.
The intercultural communication and cultural awareness aspect of this internship was also very important to me. Though I am a European Studies student, my main area of focus is Irish history. I was very aware of the contentious historical relationship between Ireland and England, so being placed with a historical society in London made me unsure of the type of history I would encounter. Modern British history A-Level exams cover Anglo-Irish relations, so I had ample opportunity to examine Irish history from a British perspective and to discuss this with my colleagues. Where I thought I would find a watered-down version of Irish colonial history, I found honesty and a willingness to admit Britain’s past wrongs. Not only did this internship enhance my knowledge of British culture and modern British history, but it also expanded my existing knowledge of Irish history to include a British perspective—something that I didn’t previously think was necessary to understand the conflict between the two countries.
My work from home “coworker”.
One of the major benefits of the remote internship program is that students are able to gain global exposure from home. CAPA does a wonderful job of providing students with ample opportunities to discover new things about their host site and other cities through the My Global City program. I was able to listen to a podcast about Paganism in London while hammocking on my campus, and I listened in on a live concert conducted in Dublin while soaking up the Michigan sun on my parents’ deck. My office mates were my family dog Ally, my roommate, and my roommate’s dog Riley. I often biked around my campus on my lunch break and ended my workdays by strolling through the gardens at Michigan State University. While I would have loved to have been strolling along the river Thames, I was able to gain a new global perspective while spending time with my family and renewing my appreciation for my home at Michigan State University.
Abigale Mumby is a CAPA London alumnus from Michigan State University with a major in History and a minor in European Studies. She interned remotely through CAPA for Summer 2020.