Marc Reyes: Student Success Story

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

 Education: University of Connecticut: Ph.D. Candidate, History
University of Missouri, Kansas City: Master of Arts, History University of Missouri, Columbia: Bachelor of Arts, History

 Interest: Marc loves live music and enjoys traveling across the country to see music festivals including new up-and-coming acts.


1.) What was your internship this past summer?

This past summer, Marc worked as an intern for the State Historical Society of Missouri at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO. Here he assisted in the reprocessing of the J.C. Nichols Company Scrapbook, comprised of 58 scrapbooks dating back to 1910. He explained how his internship included collecting photos and categorizing them based on subject lines that he created. Marc also helped in developing new and innovate ways to reach the public by utilizing technology and displaying content online.

2.) What resources did you use to guide and support your search (faculty, workshops, professional associations, etc.)?

Marc spoke highly of his advisor Frank Costigliola, an incredibly supportive mentor through his internship search. He assisted Marc in exploring varied career paths within his major, while focusing on Marc’s interest in the field of archival work. Marc also described Lucinda Adams, the Assistant Director of the State Historical Society of Missouri, and Michael Sweeney, the Senior Research Specialist at the historical society as a joy to work with this summer as they created a wonderful environment for interns and staff. Michael Sweeny referred to the work of historians as a “meaning-making business”, a phrase that furthered Marc’s interest in archival work and public history.

3.) Why do you think it is important to gain internship experiences in your field?

Marc shared how important he believes it is to gain internship experiences in order to diversify one’s experiences and explore different areas of one’s field. This was his first internship, and he found it to be a great opportunity to experience the “other side” of historical archives. In prior positions Marc found himself reaching out to these archives to acquire primary sources, but this time he got to see behind the scenes. He was able to get a hands-on experience and better understand how such archives come to be. Engaging in this internship was also different from Marc’s daily experience in academia as a graduate teaching assistant. Overall, he recommends that people get involved in as many areas of their industry to best understand it. He described how he has gained a greater respect and deeper interest in archival work having now experienced another dimension of this field.

4.) What are your future career goals? Marc would love to teach or work at a branch of the National Archives, especially a presidential library.  A dream job would be to return to Missouri and help run the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum. His internship this past summer allowed him to further explore these career pathways. He enjoyed his time spent with the archives’ collections and hopes to continue this work in the future.

5.) Which of your skills do you feel are going to be most useful to you moving forward?

Moving forward, Marc stressed the importance of improving his writing skills. He described how vital they are for expressing ideas and better communicating a possible meaning of a historical event. Specifically, as a historian working in an archive, he had to create labels and descriptions of artifacts that could be easily understood. This means that a lot of planning goes into the final text so it can be enjoyed by a variety of different audiences.

6.) Which of your skills did you gain or enhance during this experience?

Marc’s time at the State Historical Society of Missouri allowed him to further improve his technical skills. Through computer oriented tasks such as scanning, uploading content, and working with microfilm, he was able to further develop his abilities. He also spoke about his increased proficiency with programs such as Microsoft Excel as it was used for data entry and formulating spreadsheets.

7.) What is something you learned during your internship that you had not thought of before starting that process?

Before starting his internship, Marc did not see much of a direct connection between the internship and his current position as a graduate teaching assistant on campus. However, during his internship experience he found it inspired the way in which he would teach history to students. He began to think of additional teaching methods that would be most effective in getting his students both interested and involved in the material. Instead of focusing on the history written in textbooks, Marc looked towards utilizing primary sources more regularly in the classroom. He would like his students to get more experience in developing archival research projects that would allow the students to choose a topic of interest and work throughout the semester to discover related archives and experience a true hands-on-learning opportunity.

8.) What advice or encouragement do you have for graduate students to take advantage of similar opportunities?

Marc highlighted the importance of graduate students always being on the lookout for new opportunities. His position at the State Historical Society of Missouri did not exist before he inquired about it, which shows just how many similar opportunities are available. He also explained how important it is to be flexible. Marc described that any given position is only about 80% of what you would it expect it to be, so always expect there to be more to something, and be open to what that might be.



By Briana Williams
Briana Williams