Exciting Internship secured by St. Mary’s University History Student

Quinn Demers
Quinn Demers, a fourth year History student at St. Mary’s University, landed a very competitive trade-focused internship. He credits St. Mary’s University Assistant History Professor Dr. Gayle Thrift for the bringing the opportunity to his attention, who thought the internship would be of interest to Demers based on their past conversations in class.

Dr. Thrift is excited for all that Demers has done to succeed in earning this internship and believes it will provide valuable experience.

“Experiential opportunities such as these are important for our students who are stepping into a competitive workforce,” explained Dr. Thrift. “It’s a chance for them to get hands-on experience and practical knowledge of how the study of history can be utilized in professional work environments. This is an integral facet of our History program at St. Mary’s University.”

After an interview with the research company offering the internship, Demers knew that this role would be a great fit for him and is excited for the opportunity where he will be running a series of interviews and dialogues with those who are familiar with traditional methods of trades that may be going obsolete. These include a brick maker in Canmore and a traditional wagon maker in southern Alberta, both of which are the last of their craft. Demers also expressed his interest in Indigenous heritage trades, which will be satisfied through these interviews as well.

Dr. Pablo Ortiz, the Director of Student Affairs who spearheads opportunities such as internships for students at StMU says that “[internships] provide students the chance to enhance their education by acquiring career-related work experience before graduation. Students gain practical experience, develop a network of contacts, and obtain a better understanding of careers in their field. Internships allow students the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills developed in the classroom in a practical work environment, enhancing both the academic and employment portions of their University career.”

Demers intends on using this internship in ways that will directly feed back into trades research.

“From this [internship], I am hoping to gain better experience as a history major and to also preserve local history in Alberta on a topic that may not be the most accessible in writing. … If I can use this research to inform those who are curious about the subject, then I see this internship as an absolute success.”

He is confident that this research will offer information that will directly impact the industrial and trade history of Alberta by preserving the original practices of trades such as farming and carpentry.