Andrew Tesija: Internship

Andrew Tesija
Internship: Duluth Archaeology Center (DAC)

What is your major?

My Major is Anthropology but I’m also minoring in German and History.

Where was your internship placement? (What is the purpose of the organization?)

My internship is at the Duluth Archaeology Center (DAC). So my internship’s purpose is to preserve the historical record or an area spanning from around Pine City up to Canada, and over to about Bemidji at the most.

What did your general duties involve?

My general duties are to categorize artifacts that people have donated to the DAC. The people who work there are too busy going through artifacts that they have collected on dig sites and writing their reports. So they have me going through their donations to help save them time and to allow me to get experience. I’m learning the different cultural eras of this region (all the way back to 10,000 years ago), the different types of stone from this region, the pottery, the flintknapping, and other cool artifacts that people may have left behind.

What was your most memorable experience?

My most memorable experience was when I held my first stone spear tip that was made by a Paleo-Indian. To me, going through these artifacts is like going back in time. To actually be able to hold/feel/touch these artifacts is a way for me to connect to the people of the past. Unfortunately, the Paleo-Indians are not my ancestors so I can’t say that it feels like I’m getting in touch with something inside of me. However, holding an artifact that someone created thousands of years ago gives me a great feeling inside. The best way I can express it is that it feels like I’ve gone back in time and that I’m shaking that person’s hand. I’m left with the satisfaction and feeling knowing that I’m preserving and continuing a specific person’s cultural life. That what they have done has not been lost to time but has been saved. I know it sounds odd but that is what I felt when I held my first spear tip and I haven’t lost the feeling since.

Has your internship influenced your career path?

To be honest, I already decided that I wanted to be an archaeologist. If anything, knowing what I wanted for a career influenced what internship I did. I will say that even though I know what career I want, doing this internship has allowed me to narrow down even more what I want to do for a career. I knew I wanted to be an archaeologist. Even though Paleo-Indian artifacts are cool and interesting, this internship has helped me learn that I want to do classical archaeology of Romans and Greeks instead for my career.

Taking on an internship is a good idea because you will learn whether or not this career path is right for you. Even if you know what career you want, an internship is still very good for you. You will open your career path even more with the knowledge and the experience that you gain from it. Plus, it will help you figure out what niche you want from your major.