During the period of January 2021 till March 2021, I had the privilege of staying at the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies to conduct my internship, and further improve my skills in the academic field.
During my time at the RIAS the developments surrounding COVID, and the consequences it brought for the institute itself, were the main focus in the day to day activities. Due to the pandemic, the internship was mostly conducted from home, except for a weekly visit to Middelburg. Because of the COVID situation most activities had to be conducted online, which luckily was not a problem for the majority of the activities. In particular the online nature of the lectures may have been a blessing in disguise. Due to the fact that the lectures were now more easily accessible for a broader audience, the lectures were well attended. So even though the pandemic certainly did bring some challenges, it also resulted in some unexpected benefits.
However, not only the lectures had some unexpected good in them. Since the RIAS was closed for the entire duration of my stay, researchers could not physically look for sources they needed in our archives. Therefore, it was my duty as intern to look into the archives for the researchers, and determine whether our sources could be of any help in their research. Although, this certainly was only a benefit for me personally, since it obviously did hinder the researchers themselves, it did give me the opportunity to dive into subjects which I would not have investigated myself. As a result of this unique experience I can conclude that this was both the most educational, as well as the most fun part of my stay at the RIAS.
My RIAS experience was therefore, although different, immensely helpful for my academic career. I would like to offer thanks to everyone at the RIAS for making me feel like part of their team, and helping me with every aspect of my internship.