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Washington, D.C. internship leads to life-changing experience

Student posing with research partner at internship

Cassidy Creighton with her research partner during her internship at the Library of Congress

For most college students, an internship is a rite of passage that helps bridge their academics with the professional world they’ll enter after graduation. However, Cassidy Creighton’s Washington D.C. Internship at the Library of Congress was a truly life-changing experience.

Summer 2019 Library of Congress junior fellows

Summer 2019 Library of Congress junior fellows

Creighton is a senior majoring in history with a minor in anthropology. She grew up visiting her local library nearly daily and has wanted to be a librarian since the sixth grade. Creighton’s love of history also began early on, watching military documentaries and war movies with her dad who is a veteran. So when she saw an opportunity to apply for an internship combining her two passions in Washington, she jumped at the chance.

During the summer of 2019, Creighton interned with the Library of Congress’ Science Technology and Business division working with the Office of Scientific Research and Development. She worked with a collection that included weapons, innovations, and technology dating back to World War II. Her main work focused on a project that took information from scanned microfilm and creating data so that the collection contents could be searchable in library catalogs and by researchers.

For Creighton, the summer was full of firsts. “It was the first time I had flown, first time in a big city by myself,” she said. “Through the mentorship of those I worked with and living these new experiences I was able to gain so much in a short time.”

Photo of the Library of Congress taken by Cassidy Creighton

One of the most important lessons Creighton learned is that it’s all about who you know and that you could run into them at any time. “I started carrying around business cards with me everywhere so that I never had a missed opportunity,” she said. “Because you never knew who you were going to meet. Like Bernie Sanders at the grocery store buying ice cream on a Wednesday night.”

Creighton left Washington with a standing job offer, and much more. “The whole experience was transformational,” she explained. “When I got off the plane at home, my parents picked me up and the first thing they said was ‘you’re different.’ They are right and my friends notice it too. Not only did I grow professionally, but my whole attitude is different and my confidence is much higher.”

Creighton credits Milner Library’s scholarship for making it all possible. “I am very grateful to Milner,” she said. “My parents and I are working hard to cover my tuition and without Milner, I wouldn’t have been able to go to D.C. at all.”

Learn more about Washington, D.C. funding available from Milner Library. The application deadline is Thursday, October 31.

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