Summer Internships: Aveline Plenter '25

July 19, 2023
Headshot of Aveline Plenter

Name: Aveline Plenter
Class Year: 2025
Major: History
Minor: Philosophy
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Internship Organization: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society
Job Title: Archive Digitization and Preservation Intern
Location: New York, NY

What's happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!

As an intern for the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B), I am learning tons of new things that I would have never expected myself to be doing prior to this role! Namely, I have spent a lot of time indexing, scanning, and archiving 18th and 19th-century documents which have been incredibly fascinating. I have grown my knowledge of LIMB document editing software and Excel, along with discovering many new things about the archival process in general. I have also been focused on working closely with my supervisors to discover what career paths in non-profits may look like.

Archival document

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship for two reasons: interest and location. As a history major, I knew that I was incredibly interested in working closely with the past and wanted to explore potential careers in the field so this seemed like a great option. While I don’t necessarily see myself working in genealogy following graduation, I wanted to explore a career path that I had never considered before and also find out more about what it is like to work at a nonprofit. The second reason I ultimately ended up applying for this internship was its location. I wanted the chance to get out of my hometown of Pittsburgh and explore what it was like to live in a major city. I realized that there will probably be a relatively small amount of times in my life that let me just pick up and move, so I wanted to seize that opportunity and work in a place unlike what I was familiar with.

Room with a welcome sign on the wall whiteboard.

Was there anything special about how you found this internship?

I think so! I ended up cold-emailing the NYG&B following an extensive Google search of all the history nonprofits within the city. I went to their website and noticed that while they did not currently have any summer opportunities posted, they referenced the projects of past interns at the organization. I ended up sending a message to their HR department inquiring about summer internships, and that eventually led to an interview. The most important thing I learned throughout the process of finding a summer internship was that both the quantity and quality of the applications I sent out mattered. I knew that I was applying to positions in a competitive market, so I looked out for as many potential workplaces as I could and made it a point to send in applications to a wide array of places.

New York skyline at night

What is something you have learned from your internship that you didn't expect?

I did not expect to learn just how little information has been digitized. I have previously done a lot of my research on online databases like JSTOR, and I am now beginning to realize how much knowledge I have been sacrificing by avoiding going to the library! Working at the NYG&B has let me see firsthand the types of manpower it takes to properly scan and upload documents, so I will be quicker to research in physical locations moving forward. I have ultimately learned that digital research should be a compliment to its physical archive companions, not a replacement.

Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.

History Philosophy