Internship Spotlight: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Transportation Library

Aileen Nolan

MS/LIS student Aileen Nolan discusses her summer internship with the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Transportation Library.

What is your area of interest at the iSchool?

During my time here, I have taken classes that teach a technology or software tool. That naturally led me to focus my interests on digital librarianship, data science, and analytics.

Where did you work this summer, and what was your role?

This summer I was based in Washington, D.C. and worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) as part of their Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG). USDOT is a massive federal agency, but I was embedded within a small team in the National Transportation Library or NTL. There I worked as the program and repository assessment intern, developing dashboards for metrics about NTL's institutional repository, ROSA P.

How did you find out about the position?

Through patient searching, specifically on INALJ.com.

What new skills did you acquire during your time with the NTL?

Besides acquiring some new software skills in data visualization tools, I was also trained on NTL's process for creating data management plans or DMPs. By the end of this training, I had created a DMP and participated in a DMP consultation.

What did you like best about working at the NTL?

One of the best parts of the experience was being part of a larger pool of interns. Interns across USDOT are organized as part of the STIPDG internship program. As STIPDG interns, we all went through the same professionalization programming, lived together in the same apartment building, and explored D.C. together. Although we generally interned in different departments, we all supported each other personally and professionally.

What would you advise current students who are interested in an internship opportunity?

Take advantage of your winter break by applying for internships. It can be really hard to find time to apply while school is in session. The deadline to apply for the 2019 STIPDG internship is January 22, 2019.

What are your plans after you complete your degree?

Immediately, some world travel. After that, I hope to work on a data analysis team. I want to continue learning the technical skills I started developing here at the iSchool.