Russell Heibel is a History major with minors in Political Science and Anthropology. He served as an intern with Hinckley Historical Society last fall as part of the Internship Program.
Q: What project(s) are you working on as an intern?
Russell: As an intern, I worked on a backlog of donated items to the organization along with various other tasks, including organizing a backlog of newspapers and reorganizing the seasonal decorations that were located in the basement of the facility.
Q: What is the biggest benefit and/or the best part of your internship experience?
Russell: My favorite part of the internship was having the opportunity to have a hands-on experience with the various artifacts that community members have been gracious enough to donate to the Hinckley Historical Society. Additionally, I enjoyed understanding how each object reflects a family’s own history with said object and their links to the township. While I have always appreciated living in smaller communities, the internship helped me understand that each community helps make up and reflects the United States on a smaller scale of museum studies. This has enabled me to understand that each and every community has their own unique history that has in some way, shape, or form helped to contribute to their county, state, or even national level of progress through the decades and centuries
Q: In your opinion, why should students pursue internship opportunities?
Russell: Internships enable students to gain their first experiences in the fields they might focus on in their future careers. By pursuing and actively engaging oneself in an internship, students can demonstrate their eagerness to not only provide their best work but also to enable themselves to understand their strengths and what they need to improve on. This provides the student an essential understanding of both what to expect in their field and what they need to work on to improve their employment opportunities.
Q: Please share any additional comments you have about your internship experience.
Russell: Thank you to the Roberts Family Foundation. I am most grateful for having the opportunity to have been able to assist a local community in the accessioning of their local history. It has provided to me a greater appreciation for how essential local history is and how it provides a unique and more personal perspective on historical periods through the country’s history. Thank you for allowing me to contribute to the continued history of the Hinckley Historical Society. Without such internship opportunities, many students will be left without any proper induction into the world of museum activities or appreciation for smaller and more local historical societies and centers.
The Internship Program is a collaboration between the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership, the Center for Nonprofit Studies, and Career Services at Northern Illinois University, supported by the Douglas C. and Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation.