A Postcard From: Sean Keenan ’20

Name: Sean Keenan
Class Year: 2020
Major: History
Hometown: Brielle, N.J.


Internship Placement: Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies
Job Title: Summer Intern
Location: 420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

Exterior of National Museum of American Jewish History

What’s happening at your internship? 

My internship over the summer is at the Katz Center, a post-doctoral research center which focuses on Jewish civilization. My internship over the summer involves a bunch of small little projects and one large overarching project. My main goal for the summer is to create a timeline of the Katz Center’s history for their website by working with primary documents provided by the center. I’ve also been working on finding images promoting this year’s theme (Jews in Modern Islamic Contexts) for their social media accounts.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I very distinctly remember when I started to look for internships because it was New Years and I figured it was as good enough a time to start to look for work for the summer. I knew I wanted to live in Philadelphia, so I just started to create a list of every museum in Philadelphia and see if they were looking for summer internships. I eventually stumbled upon the National Museum of American Jewish History and applied for their program. They forwarded my application to the Katz Center and after interviewing for the position and hearing what they had to offer, it was a perfect fit. I was being given the chance to both to fine-tune my skills in archives and develop competence in communications.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

I really enjoy the day- to-day work of coming in five times a week and combing over texts and archival materials. Considering my love of archives, it seems like the perfect job for me. I even have my own office, so I get to really spread out and organize my work into piles. I’ve found a lot of cool images so far for their social media campaign and have learned a lot about different aspects of Judaism.

Image from archives

What is most rewarding about your internship?

I’ve gotten the change to meet a lot of well-resourced individuals as a part of my internship. My placement has given me a lot of opportunities to network with both people at the Katz Center and at the National Museum of American Jewish History. I’m getting to learn about how both a museum and a post-doctoral academic institution function.

Office with desk, chair, computer, telephone, bookshelves and paperwork.

My office.

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