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The next chapter for a former UM intern

Posted on 04/15/2019 at 04:42 PM by Jill O'Brien

Former University Museums intern Jonathan Schmidt has taken skills he learned during his internship at the Farm House Museum to the Pacific Northwest, teaching state park visitors about the nature and history of the area. His next stop? Mount Rushmore.

A 2018 graduate of Iowa State, Jonathan worked as a Park Interpreter at Cape Disappointment State Park on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington until October 2018. While there, he worked with other interpreters at the park's museum, ran programs in the campsites, gave guided hikes, and answered questions from visitors about the area's history and nature.

Jonathan interned with University Museums from spring 2016 until he graduated, spending most of his time giving tours at the Farm House Museum. He says many of the skills he developed there translated to his full-time position. 

"Working at the Farm House allowed me to get used to talking to various people and improved my interpersonal skills greatly, which is especially important when working at a park," Schmidt said. "I also learned how to research different historical topics and became good at explaining them to people."

When his position at Cape Disappointment ended, Jonathan applied for positions at the National Park Service. He was offered a position as a park ranger at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, where he will start working in May.

"I'm pretty excited to be working there and for the National Parks in general," he said. "I'm not sure all the places I will be going in the next few years, whether I will continue to work at Mount Rushmore or jump around to different National Parks, but I think it will be fun to find out."

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