Katie Jacob was our US/ICOMOS intern for ten weeks this summer. Her main role was to develop case studies from across the INTO network for sharing at the 2015 Conference, but she turned her hand to various tasks, such as litter picking at the Avebury Summer Solstice!
Katie wrote of the experience:
“When I first was accepted into the US/ICOMOS internship program, I had no idea what to expect. What I did know though was that it would change and assist in helping me focus my career. My experience under Catherine Leonard has been a complete blessing in my professional life. I was selected to go to London, England and intern with the International National Trust Organization. While at first I had no idea what the organization stood for I learned the ways of National Trusts and how they interact internationally. INTO works to keep the lines of communication open between national trusts around the world. They seek to share best practices in the conservation of tangible and intangible heritage.
I have been interested in international relations between countries for a while, but the political seriousness and underlying tensions always made the thought of international relations unfriendly. When I came across the career path of historic preservation, I realized that this is a great opportunity to still pursue international relations in a non-political sector. My thesis focus for Masters in Historic Preservation looks at what happens to heritage sites when the nation opens its borders for tourism. This internship aligned incredibly well with my future studies. This internship allowed me to do some primary research for my thesis that really made my research come to life.
This internship with INTO provided doors that would not have been open if I was not able to go. The work that Catherine does is very unique. She meets and discusses new ideas with different national trusts each week and seeks to really make the connection between heritage organizations and trusts stronger. She has been an indispensable mentor and boss this summer. She has taught me that every nation is working to save their national heritage and showed how important it is to have communication between nations when concerning cultural heritage. I learned that each nation, no matter how small the nation or the budget, is capable of amazing campaigns to save cultural heritage.
My main project for the summer was researching a set of ten case studies for an INTO Action project. Through this research I was able to make contact with heads of Trusts, and learn what they are working on. It was interesting to how each trust copes with their different challenges and how important trust organizations can be to developing countries. The interconnection that is continuing to develop between economic development and heritage is seen across nation’s Trust; it was great to put the pieces together and notice all the similarities and differences between each trust.
This summer as truly been a one-of-a-kind experience. I made great connections with heritage professionals and saw even more of the world. One of the greatest things about working with INTO was the location; being a professional tourist in London while interning was a great experience. I know that the skills learned and people met on this internship will provide great stepping stones for my future career. It has really been a great summer full of great heritage and great people.”
The internship was kindly funded by the Royal Oak Foundation.