Conversations on Studying Abroad

My Internship with Photobox Group

Dec 4, 2018 5:05:00 PM / by Maisie Haney

In today's post, Maisie talks about diving into research for the big internship project she worked on with the Photobox Group. See what she learned along the way through the ups and downs, as well as what she loved about her overall experience.

I have been saving this—a post about my internship at Photobox Group— after our huge project would have come to a close. You know nothing about this project yet, but what I can sure tell you is that there was no project in the end, and this post will outline a series of work my supervisor and I did that cannot be used any longer. We are pretty bummed, but we also are very optimistic about the next year (no worries, y’all).

ww1 226An image from a project I worked on at my internship.

I actually got a bit of a shock when I learned what my internship was. I may have been the very last person to receive any information about my internship (maybe I was too difficult??? I don’t really know), and this was because the situation within the internship was so unique. It was so unique in fact, that I at first had a hard time doing the internship projects and reports. I had this aforementioned shock, however, because I couldn’t quite understand the relation of the internship to my interests. Photobox Group is a company that custom-prints photographs and memorabilia to order, and my supervisor had devised a project for the Armistice Day centennial. Is it because you could argue that Photobox was a sort of “print shop” or maybe because I am aiding in the making of a video related to artist Bran Symondson? I really did not know. Rather than request for a change in assignment that suited me more, I wanted to give it a chance and see if I could learn from such a research-intensive and multilateral project (which was a video installation and documentary that humanized the soldiers buried at Grand Ravine Cemetery in France).

Historical LSome historical research related to the internship project.

I am very pleased I made this decision!! I love my workspace, I love my supervisor, and the project was fun while it lasted. On a day-to-day basis, I was almost like a detective. A contact we had at ancestry.com was meant to conduct the majority of the soldier-related research for us, and I think my duty was intended to be talking to soldier’s family members (who would have been found for us), to gather more personal and interesting information. The reality is, my day-to-day at Photobox was as follows: our friend at ancestry.com would have nothing to say, I would not have an ancestry account, and I would be looking at the family trees of various soldiers. At some point, I would be going down the line of children, trying to find anyone alive via the internet. I also spent a lot of time trying to explain to people that I wasn’t some strange person on the world wide web trying to collect information for bad reasons (I couldn’t even come up with a way to say this, I don’t understand why they believed my intentions were twisted).

Historical Image 1Another historical piece of data for the project.

With the research completed for about 10 soldiers, we were meant to talk about these wild lives of young soldiers halted by their deaths in the war. The documentary would have documented these profiles, narrated by Dominic Sanbrook of BBC, as well as the making of a video installation with Bran Symondson. Working with the British Army, 128 soldiers were going to stand in front of the 128 known graves in France holding photos of the soldiers buried there. I loved the sound of a project with so many sides to it, but unfortunately the British Army as well as other organizations backed out, and the project was no longer attainable for this year.

Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10 October 1918A newspaper clipping from the Richmond Times-Dispatch dated October 10, 1918.

This post would have been more exciting had I been to France to aid in the production of this video. This did not pan out, however.

Thanks, Maisie!

Maisie Haney


Maisie Haney is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Art History major at Rollins College, she is studying abroad in London this semester.

Maisie's journey continues every Tuesday so stay tuned. 

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Topics: London, England, Internships Abroad