From January to March 2020, I was an intern at the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies. In those months, I gained a better understanding of the inner workings of an academic institute and developed lots of practical and administrative skills.
When I started my MA in North American Studies at Leiden University, I decided that it would be wise to do an internship. Most of my working life consisted of part-time jobs, especially in the hospitality business, and for this reason I thought that doing an internship at an academic institute would have better prepared me for the transition to a full-time job once graduated.
While manning the RIAS library I managed to meet students from various nationalities, who showed me the many strains of American history, and pulled me out of my comfort zone. The students and PhD candidates I met shared with me a lot of interesting information regarding their own field of interest. The talks we had were all really enjoyable and I learned a lot from other students’ and scholars’ research projects.
I also learned practical and organizational skills from Leontien, the RIAS office manager, and new analytical skills from Dario and Cees. The job at the RIAS, thus, was not just sitting at a desk, keeping their library neat, or taking care of the library: I was involved in setting up everything for seminars, lectures, and in many other interesting tasks. I really enjoyed my time there, and want to thank the whole RIAS staff for that!