Summer Internship Series: My Summer at a Historic Mansion

Michaela Shea-Gander ’19

Bryn Du Mansion, Granville, Ohio

My name is Michaela Shea-Gander, a junior Communication major with a concentration in Narrative Non-Fiction Writing. This summer, I lived on Denison’s campus while completing an internship at the Bryn Du Mansion.

Bryn Du is a historic mansion about a mile away from campus, where various events take place every week, such as weddings and polo games. Bryn Du’s property comprises 52 acres, including the 32 acre lawn, and eight buildings. The estate is on the National Register of Historic Places, and people come from all around the country to visit it or attend weddings. The mansion and other buildings are used for weddings, meetings, and other community events. This summer, I assisted my supervisors with overseeing events and other projects. Every weekend I attended multiple weddings, and was in charge of locking up the historic property. I was given the opportunity to see what went into event planning and coordinating.

Besides the events, I worked on various projects at Bryn Du. I created marketing materials such as pamphlets and brochures, and organized financial forms. I also answered questions from visitors and set up for events. My largest project, which was my favorite part of the internship, was researching and writing a historical booklet about Bryn Du. From this research, I learned about Bryn Du and Granville’s rich history, and the families who owned the mansion in the past. I dug through historical archives and newspaper articles, interviewed individuals who were knowledgeable about the history of Bryn Du, and acquired photographs for the booklet. The history that I learned was more dense and interesting than I thought it would be, and I am glad I had the chance to learn more about the town of Granville. I felt accomplished writing this booklet, because I felt that it was a valuable asset to Bryn Du.

The internship experience I had at Bryn Du this summer tested my adaptability because it was not always what I expected it to be. Different situations would arise that I did not feel I was equipped to deal with, but that is how I learned a variety of skills. After this internship, I do not see myself going into event planning or coordinating, but I do see myself working for another non-profit organization in the future, and I am glad I had the opportunity to utilize my research and writing skills. Bryn Du is a beautiful place that is not well-known on campus, and I hope that others get the chance to learn about its history.

I would like to thank my supervisors, Bruce Cramer and Athena Koehler, and the Knowlton Center for this opportunity.