Name: Esme Read
Class Year: 2022
Major: History of Art
Hometown: Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Internship Organization: Library and Information Technology Services (LITS), Bryn Mawr College
Job Title: Digital Technology Intern
Location: Canaday Library
Award: Bryn Mawr College Internship Fund
What’s happening at your internship?
I am working in the educational and scholarly technology department within LITS, which works with everything from Zoom and Moodle, to the digital competencies program. My fellow digital technology interns and I are currently in the middle of several projects that involve compiling databases and writing documentation (kind of like a “how-to”).
One of my favorite projects we’re working on is for Global Bryn Mawr; we’re creating a database of funds for travel abroad for Bryn Mawr undergraduates (like Fulbright Grants, the LTT program, or the Russian Flagship Scholarship). This has involved a lot of research into the kind of funds available to student—I was surprised by how many programs we found that I had never heard of! Now that we’ve finished compiling our data, we’re working on figuring out how to display it so that it is easy for students to navigate and understand, but also easy to maintain. Funds like these may change over time, and new ones are often added, so it’s important that the work we’re doing now over the summer can be continued and recreated in the future. Figuring out how to balance these two has been an intriguing challenge, but we’re close to having all the puzzle pieces in place!
Why did you apply for this internship?
As a humanities student, it can sometimes feel like my studies are pretty far removed from technology and data. However, this past year in particular has shown me how much that isn’t true; humanities research and projects can involve online databases, web design, and even metadata! I applied for this internship because I wanted to hone my digital competencies, but also do so through real-world projects and experiential learning.
Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?
The past few weeks have felt like an exciting crash course in skill building! We’ve covered project management skills, basic HTML web design, and a slew of Excel features. There are components of Excel that I didn’t know existed, like pivot tables and data validation, that have become integral to my projects and almost second nature to use. As I begin thinking about my life after Bryn Mawr, I am grateful to have these new skills in my tool belt that I am sure will come in handy in the future.
What is most rewarding about your internship?
The most rewarding part of my internship is that it is so closely tied with the Bryn Mawr community. When I am working on projects—like the Global Bryn Mawr database—I know that my work is helping the College provide transparency and make these funds convenient to find. As a student looking to go abroad after graduation, this work feels relevant to me personally, but I also hope that it will be beneficial to the student body as a whole. For each of the projects I’ve worked on this summer, the users of the final products aren’t some abstract entity, but instead my professors, peers, and members of the community at large. It makes the work feel even important and allows me to give back to our community.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.