Wow this final semester has gone by so quickly! This opportunity to work with Alison at Smithsonian Enterprises has been wonderful in many ways and I felt I have learned so many valuable skills that I will take with me throughout my career in the future. Because of my internship, I am now more than ever ready to head into the field equipped with all the necessary digital humanities skills, many of which I either learned or honed in on due to this internship experience. I felt that this internship allowed me to practice many of the digital history skills that I had learned during my course work, which helped to solidify those skills and give me confidence in going forward. Because of this internship, I will be able to go forward into whatever my next step is in my career with the knowledge I have learned over the course of this semester.
I have also made many great connections across the various Smithsonian units that I have interacted with during my internship. I had the chance to not only work with Smithsonian Enterprises, rather seven other Smithsonian units with multiple representatives from each unit. The most valuable skill I have been able to learn and practice over the course of the internship has been collaboration. Digital humanities projects often are collaborative and pull in people from various departments and often different disciplines. It has been so interesting to participate in these meetings where all the different representatives were present and expressing their ideas for the online course. There is much compromise that happens when there is that many folks working from different angles on a project, and the product is often greater than what one person could have come up on their own. I have taken in the feedback from the different Smithsonian representatives to build out an online course that will work across these seven Smithsonian units and work for the teachers that will register for the course.
It has been an important part of my internship duties to listen to feedback from the various Smithsonian units and then tweak the online course to reflect the feedback. This has been a great learning experience to hear many ideas and then have to do some creative problem solving to create a product that works across many units. This part has been a fun challenge to design a course that works across the board. The course has not gone live yet, and will not be live until the last week of June, and I plan to stay on this project until the course is released and is run live for the teachers that have registered. It will be an interesting experience to see how the teachers interact with the course I have helped to build out and hear what their user experience is like. I have no doubt that it will be a rewarding finish to this internship!