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Winslow House, Marshfield, MA
What have been your responsibilities as an intern for Winslow House?
As an intern at the Winslow House I was responsible for everything from staffing the front desk and giving guided tours, to studying the genealogy of the Winslow family and learning more information to impart to our visitors. I was also tasked with assisting in an inventory of the various artifacts we have on display at the house. Aside from research and work involving the founding family of Marshfield, MA, I also had the pleasure of assisting with the busy schedule of events at the Winslow House, whether it be greeting guests at the regular Tuesday Morning Coffee Hours or helping with the Weekend Author’s Series with such prestigious writers as Stephen Puleo.
What do you like best about the job? Find most challenging?
Out of all my responsibilities, I most enjoyed giving tours to visitors who stopped by to learn about one of the most prominent founding families in New England. Though other interns spent hours in anticipation of tours that never came, I was fortunate to be scheduled on days that saw a lot of tour groups coming through. As you walk through the Winslow House, it is like you are taking a step back in time, and it is my job to explain to guests the context in which the Winslow family lived. I love talking history, so giving visitors a glimpse of the past by taking them through this historic estate was a singular pleasure.
What was best about this internship was also the most challenging however. The storied past of the Winslow family, like much of history, is complicated and very foreign. Thus, I had to gauge things like age group, knowledge of the area’s history, and interest level for each visiting party, and alter my approach midway through tours to accommodate questions and, often, photo opportunities. I like to let the historic facts speak for themselves, but this was not always possible. For example, a group of 5th graders on a field trip are not as interested in General John Winslow’s role in the Acadian Expulsion, but instead love spending time in the children’s bedroom, talking about how the house is “haunted”.
How does being a history major shape your preparation for the job and your own future aspirations?
Without a love of history, I would not be able to approach tours at the Winslow House with an appropriate level of enthusiasm. Fortunately, the History Department at ENC cultivates an unparalleled respect and interest for the study of history. In fact, if it wasn’t for Professor Yerxa informing me about this internship, I would have spent my summer in a much less productive and inspiring way. Transferring from a large university to become a history major at ENC, I have found a small department that cares for the personal and academic welfare of its students. My plans after college may involve graduate education in law or history, but I feel secure as a history major that the skills I am learning in reading, writing, and analysis will easily transfer to any further educational and vocational endeavors. I’m certainly blessed to have met so many awesome history majors and faculty members through the department and History Club (which holds events that you should all attend). I know that I will have many more opportunities similar to my internship at the Winslow House thanks to the connections and friendships I have cultivated in the history department at Eastern Nazarene College!
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