Student Spotlight: Andrew Nelson, Art History Major

John Cabot University’s Career Services helped facilitate my internship at the British School at Rome, one of the most prestigious foreign academies in Rome. I worked under the supervision of Director Christopher Smith, who is a leading scholar in Early Rome and Etruscology. The internship allowed me to see firsthand the daily operations of a foreign research academy, while interacting with the resident scholars at the BSR whose interests span the academic spectrum, including art historians and archeologists.

During my internship I had the opportunity to become familiar with the recently renovated and absolutely beautiful research library at the BSR, where I completed about half of my work. Director Smith gave me demanding, yet enriching tasks that showed me the role of a researcher and the process of academic publishing. The tasks included acquiring images for scholarly presentations, compiling a collection of academic articles in the BSR library that will serve as the foundation for a future publication on Early Rome edited by Director Smith, identifying the holder of copyrights for academic articles, indexing a book about Praise and Blame in Cicero’s rhetoric, locating appropriate bibliographic recourses for Director Smith’s future project concerning Rome during the Monarchy, and working on my own research project dealing with the Tarquin patronage of the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill.

Another part of the internship was two formal interviews with Director Smith: an academic interview where I was able to inquire about the challenges and rewards of researching Early Rome, and a professional interview where I learned about his path to becoming the Director of the BSR along with his responsibilities. In addition to interviewing Director Smith, I was also invited to attend the lectures that BSR presents and the exhibitions they host. I had the pleasure of attending two lectures, and staying for dinner once.

The BSR is an ideal place to do an internship because of its role as one of the most important foreign academies in Rome. The staff and resident scholars at the BSR were friendly and gracious, often inviting me for a midday tea. My responsibilities at the BSR showed me what it is like to be a scholar, but it was the people I met and the conversations we had enriched my life in an intangible way.

My internship at the BSR gave me experience working, writing, and publishing in an intense research environment at one of the most prestigious foreign academies in Rome. I learned how the BSR functions, the role of a scholar, and the process of academic publishing, while meeting scholars in many different academic disciplines. I would recommend the internship to art history or classical studies students who see their future in academia and who want to enhance their research credentials.

gjsdfgjAndrew Nelson
B.A. in Art History, Minor in Creative Writing
JCU Class of 2011
Hometown: Longview, WA
Internship with British School at Rome

Student Spotlight