Finding a place to do my internship was only the first step. Next, I had to write an internship proposal and have it signed by my on-site supervisor and two faculty members in my department. These three will comprise the committee of readers for my capstone report. I also had to have a signed internship agreement that defined and verified my plans for working with the Hearing Loss Association of America.
To protect my current job while taking time off for the internship, I submitted a request to the university for an educational leave of absence for five weeks. This paperwork needed to be signed by the Dean of the Library as well as the Provost and approved by Human Resources.
These were the hoops I had to jump through for the university, but my biggest hurdle was finding a place to stay while working in Bethesda, MD. I researched short-term rentals but the only ones available were for corporate apartments that were out of my price range. I checked on Craigslist and there were rooms for rent, but I felt uncomfortable making a housing arrangement this way. My aunt and uncle live on a farm in rural Maryland and were willing to have me stay with them, but the daily commute of up to 4 hours driving would have been brutal. I had a cousin who lived nearby the HLAA office who I thought might be able to put me up with his family, but that did not work out as he was travelling out of the country at that time. I was wondering if I would have to give up on my dream.
I discussed this possibility with a few people and everyone said to not give up yet. Then I talked about the situation with my boss. He immediately went into action on my behalf. Using a medical librarians listserv, he asked if there was anyone in the Washington D.C. area who could help me out with short-term housing. The same day a woman wrote back that she and her husband could rent a room in their condo for a very reasonable price. I was amazed.
The two of us began emailing each other. She sent me a link for a picture of her cat and other family photos. When I saw a vacation picture of her and her husband, I knew everything was going to be all right. She looked like a librarian and a caring person. Her husband looked like he adored her. I knew I was in good hands.
Photo I took of my housemate, Simon
In my next post, I'll share what I actually did during my internship.