ACE EPIC Intern Alvin Rosa, San Francisco Maritime Exhibit and Interpretation Intern, tells us about his internship, and how that will contribute to his career in anthropology.
[ACE]: What do you do here in your EPIC internship?
[AR]: I arrange artifacts for display, and maintain and repair all the displays throughout the park. It’s my job to help keep the park running in that way.
Can you tell me about your background?
I’m from Southern California. I went to school there and graduated from University of California, Riverside with a degree in Anthropology, specifically Mesoamerican Archeology.
How did you find out about ACE, and what attracted you to this position?
I was looking for a position that was related to my major of Archeology and Anthropology and relevant to that field. I found the listing for this position as an Exhibit Curator Intern and thought it fell within that realm. I thought it would allow me to gain a different perspective on Anthropology by adding the aspects of preservation and conservation.
Can you tell me a highlight and a challenge that you’ve had so far during your internship?
A highlight is that I’ve been working with some great people. The NPS staff makes it easy for an intern like myself who came in without knowing anything about curatorship, or exhibits, or the park itself. They have guided me and have fueled my interest in what goes on here behind the scenes at the museum. I’ve always had a fascination with ships and the sea itself. Through my internship here I have gained a newfound respect for the people who maintain and repair these historic vessels.
However, learning all this new information has also been a challenge. Everything that’s done here is done in a very specific way, and all the exhibits relate to each other, so it can be difficult to keep everything cohesive.
Any goals for when you complete your internship?
I have begun applying for graduate school. I want to pursue a doctorate degree in Anthropology. The experience I’ve gained during this internship will definitely play a big role in my future. Not just during my studies, but afterwards if I seek out a museum related job.
Why exactly has the internship been beneficial for you?
I’ve had experience with archeology as far as the excavation of artifacts, but this position allows me to see the next step of the process, when the artifacts are displayed to the public. This has been the first step towards building my career in Anthropology.
What do you think sets ACE apart from other organizations?
I like that this opportunity is offered to students finishing their undergraduate studies. It’s definitely a career builder. These internships give you an edge and a framework to find a job. The ACE staff is some of the best people I’ve interacted with. They set the guidelines of the position and make it easy for anyone to follow. That’s what I like about the EPIC program.
Do you have any advice you’d give to someone looking to join EPIC or get into this field?
This is the first step. If you want to get into this field, this is a great place to get perspective. It definitely gave me an idea of what it’s like to work for a government organization.