John Attwood ’17

College: George Washington University

Where did you work?
Pala Band of Mission Indians

What was your primary responsibility or significant project you worked on?
I worked as the Geographic Information Systems Intern. I was responsible for digitalizing maps, records, and photos for the GIS Department and organizing digital files.    

Did your summer job/internship align with your college major? Did it change your thoughts on your future career path?
My internship aligned with my major in history and minor in political science in Native American history. It made me consider doing work in Washington DC for Native American legal and governmental agencies.

What did you find the most enjoyable or most interesting part of your job?        
The most interesting part of the internship was learning about Indian land sovereignty and historic legal challenges.    

Was there a skill you learned at Mayfield that helped you do your job better?
Lots of my skills from Mayfield help me with work and school, particularly my ability to work well with other people and build relationships. Also, I can attribute my interest in indigenous Californian history from class work like the mission and Native American history projects.  
What new skills did you acquire during your summer internship?
I learned several skills, like the ability to properly digitalize and preserve records, which is useful for work in archival and other history fields. Also learning about tribal government changed my perspective on historic and contemporary Native American issues.     

How did your summer job/internship contribute to your personal growth or self-confidence?
My internship allowed me to experience work in a small office and build relationships with my coworkers. It also gave me the opportunity to challenge my preconceptions of tribal government and understand the direct effects of challenges to tribes and their members. I also learned that in the best way to learn and gain experience is to actively seek it from superiors and others in the office, instead of waiting for them to teach you. With this, I was able to gain the experience that I was looking for to grow in my field.

Mayfield Junior School

Located in Pasadena, California, Mayfield Junior School of the Holy Child Jesus is a K-8 Catholic coeducational private school. Our kindergarten, elementary school, and middle school experience best prepares students for high school education and beyond.