Julia Jensen Portfolio


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Julia Jensen Portfolio

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Going into this internship, I really didn’t know what to expect. Throughout undergrad, I worked full time jobs and did not have the time to take on any internships or research positions, so this was my first experience with it. I also was studying anthropology and was uncertain what path I wanted to take, making it hard to find internships that felt applicable to my future. Once I decided to study history with a goal of pursuing a public history career, this internship seemed like an incredible opportunity to learn more about the field and get a feel for what a possible future career could be. Thanks to the Public History Methodology course taught by Dr. Mark Tebeau, I did have a decent amount of knowledge of what public history consisted of, which made it clearer to me what I wanted to pursue and gave me an understanding on which I could build throughout this internship. Working with JOTPY provided hands-on experience in which I could apply this knowledge and learn the applicable skills necessary to practice public history. These skills included managing metadata, conducting and transcribing oral histories, marketing new collections, prioritizing the safety and privacy of contributors, learning to work with a team remotely, and acknowledging and confronting the silences present in the archive. As I continue to volunteer with JOTPY past the end of my internship, I hope to strengthen these skills, growing more comfortable with curating so that I may carry that with me once I move on from this archive.
Given that this was my first experience like this, much of the work I did was initially out of my comfort zone. The scope of this archive was a bit intimidating, and I did not initially understand how important and impactful JOTPY is and will continue to be, even past the pandemic. As the weeks went on, I grew more comfortable curating, as well as interacting with the team over Slack and Zoom, which I hadn’t utilized very much before this internship. I was also unfamiliar with marketing something like a collection, so having the opportunity to do so pushed me past my comfort zone and taught me how to better write for a public audience in a way that is both succinct and engaging. I learned that I really enjoy this type of work, particularly when it came to creating a collection, as it gave me the opportunity to address a silence and advocate for an underappreciated group of people while pulling from personal experience and situations that I have observed. My goal in life is to help people, and this was a great opportunity to help in a more subtle, behind-the-scenes sort of way. Since I had already hoped to pursue a career in the field of public history, specifically working with museums, this internship did not necessarily change my approach; however, it did strengthen my desire to work in this field, and taught me the necessary skills to feel confident that this is the right path for me.

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text story

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This item was submitted on April 25, 2021 by Julia Jensen using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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