Amanda Strukus ’19MS Interns Abroad in Salzburg, Austria
Assisting with the seminar sessions and being included in the social aspects, I interacted with people from all over the world. This helped me create an extensive network of people in and out of my field.
Amanda Strukus ’19MS spent spring 2019 as a library intern at Salzburg Global Seminars in Salzburg, Austria. This location is also associated with Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron, which was used for filming outdoor sequences in the film The Sound of Music, and has a rich history in its own right. In addition to excellent sightseeing opportunities, Strukus was able to put her library skills to the test.
“I learned to be confident in my library and archive knowledge and put my education into actual work experience,” Strukus said. “I also learned how to effectively communicate with other departments in order to accomplish my tasks."
The library at Salzburg Global includes photographic archives, archives for board meetings, and material about the organizational history — though most of this has been transferred to Harvard, with which Salzburg Global has a partnership. The library is available to guests of the hotel and seminar attendees. Strukus’s library tasks included updating periodical subscriptions, cataloging book donations, reshelving books, and minor book repair, as well as assisting her colleagues with research and creating bibliographies for seminar sessions. She also stretched her archivist muscles, starting the on-site digitization process for the photographic archive, work that will be continued by future interns.
The greatest gift of this internship, however, was the people. “Assisting with the seminar sessions and being included in the social aspects, I interacted with people from all over the world. This helped me create an extensive network of people in and out of my field,” she said. “Also, the staff at Salzburg Global never make you feel like a lesser employee because you are an intern. They treat you as a part of the team, and session participants do the same.”
This unique shared experience connects Strukus to previous interns. “There is an Intern Alumni Facebook Group, so you can interact with or even meet past interns from around the world, creating another networking opportunity.”
And let’s not forget the sightseeing. Salzburg Global was about a 15-minute walk from the city center — even closer with the bikes available for intern use. “There are great coffee shops, museums, and historical sites in the area that are worth a visit,” said Strukus. “One of my favorite things was going to the top of the Untersberg Mountain. You can travel via cable car or hike during warmer times, and it has the most amazing views. Also, it’s easy to travel to other cities by train. Munich is about an hour and 45 minutes away, which was a great place to visit.” Salzburg Global allows interns to take six days off, which enables weekend travel. Strukus visited Munich, Rome, Prague, and Copenhagen.
Strukus encourages SLIS students to apply for the internship, ideally toward the end of their degree or after graduation. Knowledge of German is not required — Strukus found Google Translate useful in the rare instance when a German-speaker was not available. She advises taking only one online course during the internship. “You are the only library professional; they rely on the library interns to provide library and archive knowledge. You need to be confident in your decisions and suggestions for how to move forward on projects.”