Saving the Past for the Future: My Internship with the National Trust for Historic Preservation

My name is Emily Galik, and I am a rising senior History and Political Science major at Tulane! I am lucky to be working in the Washington DC Government Relations office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation this summer. My main task there will be to analyze the current federal legislation on the preservation of historic sites and associated tax credits, and to break it down to be understandable and accessible to the public. This way, this area of complex, focused policy can be better understood and better advocated for at the state level and in advance of the current administration’s expected comprehensive tax reform.


While in this position, I hope to also interact with state-level historic preservation policy. While my primary task concerns federal law, it would be exciting to examine state policy as well to compare the two and see how they interact. I also like forward to briefing current preservation policies, and am lucky enough to start my time conducting a more in-depth examination of the current federal tax credit system. Additionally, I am excited to work with the various offices at the Trust, which will be in part fostered through intern training and bonding activities. As the professional field of historic preservation is relatively small due to its narrow focus, this position will allow me to network with my peer interns in the policy office as they enter the field as well as the Trust’s established professionals. Finally, this position will allow me to gain experience working in a nonprofit setting, so I can better understand the more advocacy-focused side of the field versus the implementation-minded side of a state or federal government agency.

As Tulane offers few opportunities relating to historic preservation outside of the traditional context of coursework, I am excited to use my opportunity this summer to work in a field more focused on a concrete impact on the community versus the simple recording of a story.

I am currently in the preparation phase for my position: I have completed the paperwork registering me as an intern at the office, brushed up on the major projects recently completed by the National Trust, and began well as planning my move down into the dorms at George Washington University–where I will be staying during my time as an intern.

I am especially excited to be working with policy in general this summer, but also to be able to analyze policy from a field I am genuinely passionate about this early on in my professional life. I have always wanted to put my knowledge of history and policy to practical use—this summer appears to be the perfect opportunity to take my educational dreams to the next level. I am so thankful to the NCI for funding my opportunity to take my historical knowledge and passion into the real world, and gain a real-world education in saving our country’s past for the future this summer!

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