Positive Experiences

As I have approached completing almost 6 weeks of my internship with OAAI, my experience has been incredibly rewarding. I have continued to have the opportunity to reach out to fellows and interns to contribute blog posts to the Smithsonian Voices blog site. I have already been able to help with the publishing of two posts on the site, with more to be published as time goes on. It might sound silly, but my communication skills through email feel stronger than they ever have. How to approach emailing peers and other individuals isn’t taught and nor did I ever receive instruction; it was just something that I had to pick up naturally like most other students. The volume in which I am communicating with people has helped me solidify being more concise and clearer in my email writing.

Additionally, I have had the opportunity to attend some SI events like a picnic that was put on for all staff and interns just a couple of weeks ago. As well as having attended 2 OAAI Staff meetings with plans to attend more in the future. I have even had the opportunity to attend a virtual meeting with select staff across the different Smithsonian units. The ability to connect with all these people across SI has been amazing and made me more comfortable in networking beyond my peers. As my internship continues, I hope that more events, either virtually or in-person, will continue to pop up so that I may connect with other professionals and create meaningful connections for my future.

 In addition to these things, I think the positive experience and work dynamic I have with my mentor, Chris, is extremely helpful as I navigate this virtual internship. We typically meet everyday day for close to an hour or attend a meeting virtually, but at least always provide a daily check-in through email. Throughout this experience, I have uncovered that I am very much a visual learner and enjoy a cooperative work style. It is nice to have instruction and guidance, but also the ability to complete tasks on my own. The consistency and semi-structured planning we have tried to create for me to work on as an intern has been fruitful and provided me with ample work that is also highly engaging. Soon I will begin work on the digital project we hope to create with ArcGIS story maps that highlight the research and fellows who have been placed by OAAI. While we don’t have a strong plan for what it might turn into, my goal right now is to learn more about the tool and be comfortable with ArcGIS before we jump in.

I am looking forward to the continued work I will be doing with the Smithsonian Voice blog as well as developing an ArcGIS project. We have also thrown around the idea of engaging with social media as well for boosting the Smithsonian Voices blog, however, we have only discussed this with no immediate planning just yet. This all goes to say, that the opportunities have already grown for me and my work as an intern, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue being a part of OAAI as their Digital Public Humanities Intern.

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