Make The Connection

Internship: Army Reference Team Intern at the National Archives

February 20, 2015 – by Katie Nunner '15

Learn how OWU’s many academic, research, and travel-learning programs prepare students for leadership and global citizenship and help them … Make the Connection.

OWU student Mackenzie Sommers, right, stands with David Ferriero, archivist of the United States, during her recent internship. (Photo courtesy of Mackenzie Sommers ’16)

Name: Mackenzie Sommers ’16
Majors: English and History
Hometown: North Canton, Ohio
Experience: Army Reference Team Intern at the National Archives via the Wesleyan in Washington program. Fall 2014 Semester

Lesson Learned:

“I’ve been helping digitize a collection of Confederate records, which allows me to also get a glimpse of the inner workings of Archives II at College Park, Maryland. I’ve been creating finding aids for the Philadelphia Supply Company around the turn of the 19th century. I’ve been helping describe a collection of undescribed records from the Accounting Office of the Department of the Treasury.

“And my favorite part of this internship is that I’ve gotten to do a lot of work dealing with the public. … Working with people has really helped my figure out that while I like skulking around the dark stacks of an archives, I like dealing with people even more. It’s helped me develop a better sense of what I want to do in the archival world.

“This experience has really been a fantastic learning experience. Every day I come into work and I learn a little something new about history. It’s really only made my passion for history grow larger and probably more unmanageable than before. I think my favorite part about this internship has been that I am now a reliable research resource.

“Researchers come into the Finding Aids room, and I can actually help point them in the right direction. … The other day I was just thinking to myself that I’ve never really found something I was good at. Other kids excelled at sports, academics, or arts, and I was always kind of mediocre about everything I ever did, even if I tried hard. But this comes naturally, and I’m actually good at this. I love working at the National Archives more than I’ve ever loved anything before. Even more than Abraham Lincoln.”