This edition of Five Questions was written by Felipe Franchi Souza, a student at George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, here at the Library as a Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Intern.
What is your background (e.g. hometown, interests, college, …) ?
I was born in São Paulo, Brazil and grew up in Orlando, Florida. From a young age, I’ve been exposed to lots of different cultures and nationalities that have broadened my passion for international affairs. I got my Bachelors in Political Science at the University of Houston. The next step for me was moving to Washington D.C. to pursue a career and graduate education at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs.
I love trying food from different cultures, and D.C. has a wonderful variety of places to enjoy! Another thing that has been wonderful about moving up north is experiencing the different seasons. It’s been a treat to see so much snow but I think I’m ready for some sun!!!
How did you learn about the intern program and why did you want to work at the Library of Congress?
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) has done a wonderful job of connecting me to lots of organizations in the D.C. area. I got an email from my now supervisor, Gulnar, about a last-minute opening at the Library of Congress that required Spanish and Portuguese language skills. Since the research was focused on Latin America, I was really interested and thought it was an amazing opportunity to connect with the region I’m from.
How would you describe your internship (e.g. tasks, project, mentor…) ?
My supervisor, Gulnar a Business Reference and Research Specialist, Science, Technology & Business Division, has been very friendly and a great mentor. She has taught me how to become a better researcher and always pushes me to improve. Although we have different interests, Gulnar and I have found many ways to relate and form a bond over discussions of her home country of Kazakhstan, the D.C. area, and all there is to do here.
My work at the library has consisted of updating and renewing the Latin America Business and Economics Research guide, so that we may better connect the resources the library has with researchers who wish to learn more about the Caribbean, Central, and South America. I hope to have the guide ready to be published by the time my internship ends.
What has amazed you the most about the Library (e.g. A specific collection, program, service, person… ) ?
The Internship and Fellowship Program led by Barrie and Antonio provides weekly Intern Development Programs and meetings with other departments at the Library of Congress. In these sessions we’ve been privileged to meet a multitude of different departments, and one thing that has continually stood out is how passionate the people at the Library are about the work they’re doing. Every department from the Manuscripts and Rare Books division to the Digital Labs, and Copyright office has been incredibly enthusiastic sharing what they do and how it helps the Library meet its goals. Thanks Barrie and Antonio for all the wonderful speakers!
What have you learned about the Library that you didn’t know before you started your internship?
I’ve learned about how the Library stores and uses information to help people from all around the world learn more about specific things they might need. The Library of Congress continually leaves me awestruck with the vast amount of information they have available, and the accuracy and quickness that they provide research and reference services to our patrons. My division, the Science, Technology, & Business division might be providing information on Creole cookbooks from the 19th and 20th century one day and the Economic Development of Ukraine the next.