Summer 2019 Internship Experience with Andrew Arvizu

During my internship at PHG, I worked on a variety of projects which furthered my studies of public history. PHG provided me with an exceptional avenue to gain workplace experience in the field of non-profits. At the start of the internship, I was given three products to develop, one for each month. The product-based work system meant that each month I was producing a tangible product that could be implemented by PHG.

For the first month, I carried out a study on PHG’s online practices. Here, I analyzed their website, gathered metrics on their social media posts, and studied the industry’s best practices for online activity. Once I had gathered this information, I compiled it into a spreadsheet so I could look for trends in the data and draw conclusions. Finally, I drafted a 30-page report on PHG’s current practices as well as a series of actionable suggestions to boost views, engagement, and ultimately donations.

The next month, I worked on digitizing PHG’s Discover, Explore, Experience pamphlet, a small map which highlighted cultural, heritage, and recreational locations in the Patapsco Valley Heritage Area. The end goal of the project was to have an interactive version of this pamphlet on the PHG website so guests could learn more information about each of our partner locations. During this process, I met with board members to have my draft webpages approved. This process provided me with useful experience in presenting findings, negotiating changes, and accepting feedback.

Finally, for the last month, I completed my work on a demographic survey of the PVHA. This survey would be the first to provide a comprehensive breakdown of the demographics, preferred activities, and desires of the PVHA userbase. To start, I worked with the PHG staff to create a survey that would fulfill their institutional needs while remaining impartial and allowing guests to self identify. Since some of the questions asked for personal details, I researched the surveying protocols of the DoI and other major institutions. Then, throughout my internship, I collected data for this survey by traveling to parks, museums, and city corners to offer guests
surveys. Finally, I compiled and analyzed the data, producing a 50 page report of my findings.

Undoubtedly, my internship at PHG provided me with much needed real world experience. While working for PHG, I was encouraged to develop skills that I had rarely used in the classroom. Each project required me to study the industry standards of one facet of non-profit work, leaving me feeling more confident and better prepared for work in the field. More than anything, I was proud to see my hard work being taken seriously and implemented by PHG.