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“If you want to have an experience to do an internship . . . you must grasp the opportunity. You will learn something that you did not know you were able to do.”
Harford Community College history student Paule Audebert greatly enjoyed the internship that she completed at the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum last summer.
Paule learned about the internship from her History Professor, Dr. James Karmel, who was her faculty advisor for the project. He introduced her to Maritime Museum Director Bruce Russell, who showed Paule a model of the Baltimore Clipper of 1812. He explained that her responsibilities would be to conduct research on the ship, and for her research to ultimately become a display at the museum.
Beginning with only a model of a clipper ship, Paule documented the ship's technology, importance for regional commerce, the American side in the War of 1812, and 19th century global trade. Her exploration uncovered some interesting facts. The Baltimore Clipper’s design, which originated on the Chesapeake Bay, had to be particularly fast and maneuverable. Its innovation and the construction techniques used to build it helped it to outmaneuver the British fleet during the War of 1812. The ship was also used for global trade, traveling to the Caribbean, China, and Africa.
As the project progressed, Paule was offered the opportunity to do a presentation on her findings. She said she was anxious about the prospect because, as a native of France, her English was not perfect. Paule is married to an American and has lived in the United States for only four years. She took advantage of the services offered by HCC’s Tutoring Center to help with the project and also used PowerPoint for the first time. On November 9, 2017, Paule presented her work to an audience of 46 at the Maritime Museum. Her talk was a success, and the exhibition on clipper ships that she developed is currently on display at the museum and will remain in place for several years.
One of the main reasons that Paule decided to attend college was to improve her English. Her husband William did some research and helped her choose Harford Community College, which was not too far from their home. “I liked the school right away. It was very clean and pretty when we arrived, with the trees.” Most important to her were the nice people they met. Each person was very professional and explained how she should proceed. “All the people were so nice that my husband also decided to register to be part of my adventure. I can assure you that, from my first day, I have always been happy with my experience at Harford.”
Paule said that the people she met on campus were truly engaged in their jobs; they were very professional and wanted to help students succeed. “Every person I asked questions of, at the library or elsewhere on the campus, answered me and directed me very gently.” She greatly enjoyed a field trip with Dr. Dotti Miller, who took students to New York; it was Paule’s first visit there. “I will never forget all the things she explained to us about history and the stories she told; I learned a lot during this one day, too.” Paule was appreciative of the direction she received from many people including Professor Chris Jones. “He has very good energy and joy and kindness, and thanks to him, I joined Phi Theta Kappa. Thanks to my grades, I discovered this Honor Society, and thanks to it I was able to have a scholarship to go to China in May 2017.” Her trip was in partnership with the International Scholar Laureate Program and George Mason University, which offered credit for the experience. Paule visited Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai. As part of the Delegation on International Relations & Diplomacy, the trip provided her with an opportunity to meet Chinese people and discover another culture. She also had the honor of introducing the Director General of American Affairs for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in front of the 200-person delegation.
Paule offers advice to other students. “If you want to have an experience to do an internship with the help of one of your professors, you must grasp the opportunity. You will learn something that you did not know you were able to do.”
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