History Interns • Zachery White ‘16
For history buffs like Zachery White, there's no better educational path than studying history at SJC. When it came time for White to pursue an internship, there was no better location than at one of Long Island's famous museums.
White completed a summer internship at the Long Island Maritime Museum in Sayville, where he received a taste for historical research, and learned more about how new exhibits come to fruition.
Discovering Long Island
"Since it was local history I was researching, I gained a stronger connection and commitment to the project."
"When I started my internship there was no program for history majors to find internships. So I talked to professor Fuchs and we looked at some possible places for internships. The Maritime Museum in Sayville was looking for a researcher to help develop a new exhibit. After (the museum’s executive director) Terry Blitman took me for a tour of the museum and I got a taste of our local history in Sayville, I knew I had to participate. Since it was local history I was researching, I gained a stronger connection and commitment to the project.
"My goals were to get a glimpse at the process of researching for a historical project, as well as being able to prove to myself that I could handle the pressure of a tight deadline working under limited guidelines."
A New Way to Make History
"I learned that a research internship can be stressful when given strict time restraints, but it comes with the territory. I had an amazing team around me that helped me learn, while allowing me to grow over time. I learned that researching for a project outside of school is vastly different from college work. It is faster paced, less guided and more individualistic.
"After my internship I knew I had made the right decision in choosing history as my major."
"Working for the Maritime Museum gave me a taste of how historians research for big projects outside the limits of college. I think that more students should actively pursue internships to get hands-on experience in their field. It is the best way for a student to gauge if a field is right for them. After my internship I knew I had made the right decision in choosing history as my major."
The Long Island Maritime Museum was founded in 1966 and is located on the historic West Sayville waterfront. The museum grounds are comprised of 14 acres and nine historic buildings.
Q&A With Zachery
What inspired you to choose history as a major?
"In school I was always really good at history and felt that it was something that I was passionate about. I always found it interesting to study how my life was shaped by the past."
What was your dream job as a kid?
"My dream job as a kid was to be a fighter pilot. After I learned about how many g's you need to endure to fly a modern fighter, I decided to look elsewhere. My dream job today would be working for the History Channel."
What are your postgraduate plans?
"I want to pursue working at a museum or dive further into the study of military history."
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
"The biggest influence on my life has to be my grandpa. He always has amazing stories about his time in the military and is one of the main reasons I am fascinated by history."