Experience, Experience, and More Experience
posted April 10, 2012 7:45 AM by Elise Dunham
Internships are very important to the Simmons GSLIS experience. Many programs have internship requirements built into their curriculums. The Archives Management concentration, which is the only one I can speak to with any kind of authority, features a 60-hour internship at the beginning of the program and a 130-140-hour field experience at the very end of the program. The first allows students essentially to get their feet wet before delving into coursework, and the second serves as an opportunity to apply everything learned in the program in a culminating, final experience. Especially because level/amount of experience is one of the most important elements potential employers consider when looking to hire new archivists, I really appreciate having the opportunity to gain hands-on experience as a part of the curriculum.
As useful and fulfilling as the curriculum-specific internships are, I generally take the more is better approach, especially when it comes to gaining practical experience for my career. Thats why Ive spent a better part of the last few weeks toiling over my resume and cover letters as I apply to a variety of summer internships. Im hoping to be able to work a small internship (8-10 hours a week) as I stay in Boston to work and take summer classes. Who needs sleep anyway, right?
There are a LOT of internship opportunities in Boston. The city is rich with libraries and archives, and I can assure you these institutions have heard of Simmons GSLIS and actively seek out Simmons students for library and archives internships. Generally (but not always), these internships are unpaid, but the experience that can be gained from them is something that will pay off one day. If youre willing to put the time and care into applying--targeting your resumes and composing those knock-out cover letters--theres a very good chance that you will be able to supplement your Simmons education with extracurricular internships, either to seek specialized experience or to variegate your skill set as you see fit.
Fingers crossed that Ill be updating with good internship news soon!