Because I wanted a taste of how to apply my background in American Studies to the more practical aspects of an internship yet remain in an academic setting as I was working on my master’s thesis, the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies (RIAS) seemed a perfect fit. Therefore, during the months April until June 2019, I took on an internship at the RIAS and temporarily moved to Middelburg.
The three months at the RIAS have been highly valuable in many ways. It was my first time working in a professional and scholarly work setting. I gained as well as applied a range of organizational, social and administrative skills as I was given a great deal of responsibility in performing my tasks and assisting my colleagues. I also benefited extremely from being able to work on my own research in an environment filled with primary and secondary sources, as well as academics from my field who I could ask for guidance. This culminated not only in progress on my master’s thesis, but also in an article for the From the Vaults Section of the RIAS’ website called “‘Selling’ the Marshall Plan to the Dutch: The ECA Mission to the Netherlands” in which I employed both primary and secondary sources.
What I enjoyed most about the internship was the many events that took place at the RIAS, of which the major events were a public lecture, an international PhD seminar and an international conference. They enabled me to meet American Studies scholars from all over the world and learn about their topics of study, both in an academic setting and in an informal social setting afterwards. On my very first day, the US Ambassador to the Netherlands Peter Hoekstra gave a public lecture at the RIAS, which made for a challenging but exciting first day.
The longest visiting scholar during my internship period was the Roosevelt Visiting Professor Peter Rose, who was at the RIAS for several weeks. I helped him with administrative tasks, such as printing documents and arranging public transportation, as well as with finding sources in our microfilm collections. We often joked that I was his “personal assistant.”
I am very grateful to Leontien, Dario, Damian, Giles, Cees, Celia, Nanka, Debby-Esmeé and Paul for their warm welcome and for all the assistance throughout my internship. I would recommend this internship to anyone who enjoys being organized (or wants to become more organized), wants to learn more about the field of American Studies and meet scholars from all over the world.