This past summer, Courtney Bastian '16 (History, Museum Studies and Art History) traveled to the West coast for a ten-week, career-changing internship opportunity located in the heart of downtown San Francisco's financial district at the Wells Fargo Corporate Archives. Here, Bastian experienced the importance of archival and museum practices in documenting the history of a company and the communities they serve. Upon arriving at her new office, Bastian was directly involved in the ongoing preservation of Wells Fargo artifacts and professional assignments for the Wells Fargo team.
During her time in San Francisco, Bastian worked on several large archiving projects, including the construction of a digital catalog comprising over 860 documents. Enumerating and filling these documents from the mid nineteenth century to the early twentieth century not only preserves Wells Fargo history, but also allows for swifter research requests for future historians.
In addition, Bastian offered her services towards another major project, which included fashioning a collectibles guide for Wells Fargo museums around the country. "It was fun and interesting to be able to handle these objects and go through the archives digging for research answers," she says, "By the end of the project I was showing objects to my team that they didn't even know existed!"
Outside of managing large-scale projects and assignments, Bastian was also given the opportunity to attend weekly conference calls with notable individuals within the company, such as President and CEO of Wells Fargo John Stumpf and Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Moldafsky. At the regular Archivist and Historian meetings, Bastian was able to voice her opinions and address her concerns. "I truly felt that my ideas and opinions were valued and my comments were taken into consideration," she notes.
Working with the Historical Services Team at Wells Fargo not only offered Bastian a fun and creative environment that allowed her to explore her own interests in museum studies, but also provided an opportunity to seek out prospective jobs within a field she adores. The experiences and new skills gained this summer have opened up a new outlook for Bastian as she applies to Museum Studies graduate programs this fall.