Internship Spotlight: Boston Landmarks Commission

Current student Lauren Fischer shared the following about being an Intern at Boston Landmarks Commission …

What did you do as an intern at this organization?
My main project was comparing BLC’s paper survey forms of the Roxbury neighborhood to the online database of the Mass. Historic Commission, tracking the information found in both places; I mapped this data to look for geographic patterns and started a discussion with MHC about ways we could update their records. In addition, I worked on similar data-recording projects for the St. Botolph district and local landmarks, and conducted historical research of several Boston properties.

How did you find this internship?
After my major advisor suggested the organization to me, I reached out to them directly to discuss a potential summer internship.

What did you enjoy most about your internship?
As someone interested in historic preservation, it was incredibly insightful to be able to see many of the concepts I’ve learned about being implemented in a real and practical fashion. I also loved being able to work with physical historic documents — beyond the information I needed to record, they were fascinating to read and see. My favorite part of the internship though was definitely getting to collect the enamel pins BLC has for each of the historic districts!

What did you find challenging?
This was my first time working with spreadsheets and data-processing (and mapping that data) on a large scale. My internship involved a lot of trial and error as I slowly figured out ways to automate and streamline my work and taught myself Excel’s functions. Especially in the mapping process, troubleshooting how my data was being recorded was a new process for me.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?
Ask your coworkers about the work they do beyond the scope of your own internship, and learn about the steps they’ve taken in life to get to where they are now!

About the Organization

City of Boston Seal

Boston Landmarks Commission 

Situated within the Office of Historic Preservation, the Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) and the 10 local historic district commissions are comprised of local volunteers nominated by professional organizations and neighborhood groups.

By Sheryl Rosenberg
Sheryl Rosenberg Associate Director