FAQs for Hosts

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"Western consistently provides graduates in the Public History program who are capable of handling the intricacies of the working world without compromising their high level training."

-Sushima Assi (Class of 2012) Chief Archivist, Spin Master Entertainment Company

What is the purpose of the internship?

The public history internship is intended to provide students with the opportunity and experience of applying theory to real-life public history work settings; to allow students the chance to work and learn under the mentorship of experienced and knowledgeable public history professionals; and to enable students to continue to develop both hard and transferable skills to better prepare them for a career in public history.

How can my organization benefit from hosting an intern from your program?

Hiring a Western MA Public History student intern is an opportunity for your organization to secure knowledgeable and skilled talent to meet short-term needs and to screen for future hiring potential. 

Our curriculum is well-rounded so that students experience a mix of research, theory, writing and practical experience.  They receive instruction and hands-on opportunities to work in several fields including archival management, historical research, collections management, digital media, interactive exhibit design and oral history.  Among the program’s emphases are group work, interpretation, oral and written communication, outreach, problem solving, professionalism, project management and research.     

What kinds of organizations typically host interns from your program?

Our students have completed internships with a broad set of host organizations, including archives, museums and historic sites, as well as research consulting firms, film production companies, digital media specialists and various municipal, provincial and federal government offices.  Please refer to our list of internship experiences:   http://history.uwo.ca/public_history/internships/experiences.html

How long is the internship and when does it take place?

Internships should run for a minimum of 12 weeks (35 hours per week) during the summer academic term (01 May- 31 August).  Some may extend beyond the summer, though the formal internship period will end on 31 August each year when interns cease to have full-time student status.  Students are also given the option of conducting two half internships with two different hosts.  

What are the program's expectations of the internship host organization?

1.      It is expected that host institutions will provide interns with access to the guidance and support needed for the intern to succeed.  Hosts should also provide interns with a safe and healthy work environment. 

 

2.      Students will, in consultation with their host supervisor, create a 1-2 page work plan prior to their first day of work that includes contact details for both student and supervisor; start and end dates of the internship; an indication of the weekly work hours, days of the week worked, and the number of weeks worked; a description of their proposed duties and responsibilities; an indication of the institution’s WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) status; and a statement describing how the internship as outlined will assist in one’s development as a public historian.  The work plan will be submitted to the Internship Coordinator, who will confirm the details therein with the host supervisor.

 

3.      Supervisors will provide the Internship Coordinator with both a verbal and a written evaluation of the student intern’s performance by the conclusion of the internship period.  The Internship Coordinator will endeavour to meet with the intern and supervisor either in person or via phone or Skype to discuss the student’s progress.  We supply a standard evaluation form, which can be completed and returned electronically. 

That covers the requirements!

Is there any provision that the internship must be paid or unpaid?

No, as long as the criteria for the summer internship can be met by both the student intern and the host institution.

Is there any funding support available?

Hosts may be eligible for support through the Ontario Co-operative Education Tax Credit (CETC):  https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/cetc/, which reimburses an employer up to $3,000 for internship-related expenses.

Project work may also be eligible for MITACS funding: https://www.mitacs.ca/en/programs/accelerate

Please contact our program for more information.

Can interns take placements outside of Canada?

Certainly!  Our interns have served in Australia, parts of Europe and the United States.  The process will vary depending on the destination, though usually the host institution is asked to provide proof of work in order for the intern to acquire the necessary visa.  The Internship Coordinator will assist the student with the process of preparing the necessary paperwork.

How can our institution host a student intern from your program?

Please complete an application form and submit it to the Internship Coordinator, Mike Dove: mdove2@uwo.ca

Inquiries and internship postings are always welcome!