There was never a time in my life when I was not captivated by discussions of history. When I came to OSU, none of my family was surprised when the first degree I earned was in history. I knew that even if I did not pursue a career relevant to my degree, I would cherish the education I received for the rest of my life. Immediately after receiving my degree, I began a second in professional writing. When the time came to find an internship my advisor, Professor Cheng, pointed me directly toward the Stillwater History Museum. He knew about my history degree and thought I would enjoy working here. I was skeptical at first; not because I wasn’t interested in working at the museum, but because I didn’t know how much assistance I could offer a museum as a writer.
Any concerns I had about being able to help at the museum were immediately brushed away. The museum has a constant flow of new ideas and projects that constantly bring in new needs for professional and technical writing. The first task I was given was proofreading and editing exhibit information for an upcoming new exhibit: “Automobiles in Stillwater.” The staff at the museum had done extensive research to create an exhibit to be proud of, and I was given the opportunity to not only help bring it to the high standards of the museum, but also learn more about the city I’ve been living in for four years.
Proofreading and editing exhibit information was the bulk of the work I did for my internship, but it was far from the only work for a writer at the museum. Once the museum director, Amy Loch, had a better idea of my skills as a writer, she began trusting me with other projects. I ended up writing the press release statement for “Automobiles in Stillwater,” and I also wrote articles for it and the exhibit “How Oklahoma Began” to be published in the magazine Stillwater Living. When we began to catch up with upcoming deadlines, I began to work on pressing issues that Director Loch hasn’t had time for, such as organizing the museum catalog or revising the volunteer handbook. There was a diverse amount of projects I was able to help with, and they were all relevant to my internship as a professional writer, and my interests as an enthusiast of human history.
Interning at the Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar was a memorable experience, and incredibly helpful in furthering my skills as a professional writer. I would recommend this museum to anyone looking for experience as a writer, historian, or to anyone interested in learning more about Stillwater’s rich history.
by Matthew Koster, Museum Intern.