Denison Internship Program: Featured Summer Intern

Benjamin (Benny) Mandelbrot

Year:  Class of 2021 (Rising Junior)
Majors:  History & Education
Internship Provider:  Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries
Title:  Research Assistant
Location:  Philadelphia, PA


What are you doing for your internship? What are some of your responsibilities?

Searching the catalogs and websites of area repositories for collections related to stories of resistance as part of a project with the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries. In addition to doing supervised and independent research using the PACSCL databases and libraries, I got to explore much of the greater Philadelphia by visiting several colleges, museums, and historical societies that were member institutions, and took photographs and conducted interviews at each sight to supplement my work. My finished product will be an Omeka blog post that will display my findings at the end of the summer.

What do you like most about your internship so far? What has been your favorite part of the experience?

Being able to work independently, not being restricted by specific work hours, and having time to explore the beautiful city of Philadelphia. My research is very interesting because it affects so many people and resistance covers a broad span of time so that I am getting to study different moments in history.

Which skills have you learned or strengthened during your internship that you think will help when applying for jobs/graduate schools?

Creating a finished product without an explicit assignment. In college, I am usually assigned very specific tasks and writing assignment that vary with difficulty but usually have clear instructions. Now I am working on a single assignment and focusing on it for an extended period of time much like a senior thesis or what I anticipate graduate-level work will look like.

How has your time and experience at Denison prepared you for this internship? How have you used your liberal arts education during your internship?

Denison has immensely improved my time management skills by forcing me to balance classes from a variety of disciplines while also juggling on-campus jobs and extra-curriculars. It feels easy by retrospect to only have to focus on one thing at work and then the rest of my focus goes into navigating the city and taking care of myself in an apartment. The biggest skill I have gained and use daily is writing at a professional level that I could not reach in high school. Minimizing unnecessary words and highlighting important points and arguments is what my boss most looks for when summarizing my research.