Sarah Byrne poses in front of Mount Rushmore.

W&J History Student Carves Future with Mount Rushmore Internship

Created: June 28, 2021  |  Last Updated: October 4, 2021  |  Category:   |  Tagged: , ,

WASHINGTON, PA (June 28, 2021)—Another President’s face is appearing this summer at Mount Rushmore—a W&J President, that is.

History major Sarah Byrne ’22 secured a position at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota as a Historical Interpretation Intern, a role she found through W&J’s career connection software, Handshake. Support from W&J’s Center for Professional Development and Career Pathways and Student Life team encouraged Sarah to apply for the internship.

“The support that I received from Lisa, Rachel, Jami, and Christie, is something that I am so grateful for, and I would have never had the courage to take this opportunity without them,” Sarah said.

So far, the role has been a rewarding one for Sarah, who plans to pursue a career at a historical site following graduation and the completion of a graduate degree. She’s had the opportunity to interact with visitors to the park, interpreting history of Mount Rushmore and the surrounding area.

“My favorite thing about this internship so far is being able to talk to the younger children who come to Mount Rushmore and complete our junior ranger program,” she said. “it’s so rewarding to see younger children excited about history and learning.”

The internship is an expansion on Sarah’s previous experiences through W&J, including internships she completed last summer at historical sites in Westmoreland County. The skills Sarah’s developed through her hands-on learning experiences as well as her classes at W&J have prepared her for the work she’s currently doing with the National Parks Service and beyond.

“The history department truly wants every history student to develop critical skills that will benefit them in their future careers, and through my classes and papers I have written so far, I can already see that benefit,” Sarah said. “The history department as a whole is very supportive and is constantly encouraging students, and I am so grateful for that.”

Sarah’s internship is being supported financially through W&J’s Gordon E. Swartz History Fellowship.

About Washington & Jefferson College
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