The Story of the (Preservation Princess Paletera) Scout SA Internship

Being ScoutSA intern has been such a fantastic experience and I have both learned and contributed so much that it is hard to put it all into words. There is no question about it, I LOVE my job! Where else would I have had the opportunity to have fun being “Preservation Princess” on stage at the Arneson River Theater, or live out a childhood dream of being a “paletera” passing out popsicles to Rehabarama volunteers on a hot day, or have a front row seat to a historic light show under the stars at Mission San Jose?!?  While those were fun volunteer experiences outside the office, inside the office there is also never a dull day. I love that I have been given opportunities to work on projects that I was passionate about which utilized strengths in my skillset and also challenged me enough to grow me professionally.

The bulk of my time as Scout SA intern has been spent creating the Asian-Influenced Bungalows story map, which is featured on the Discovery Map. My first week I started off by learning how to use the tools of the trade: City Directories, Sanborn Maps, Newspaper Archives and the Survey App. Over the next few months I dove deep into research using these tools to uncover bits and pieces of the story that chronicles how San Antonio’s unique collection of Asian-Influenced bungalows came to be. I curated photos and created maps and other graphics that helped to tell the story. I also identified defining architectural features which I used to create a classification system to identify properties that fall under this category. As a part of the process, I learned how to describe and identify historic architectural style elements and had the opportunity to see many historic properties around San Antonio through conducting field surveys.

As someone who loves making graphics and creative problem solving, I was given the opportunity to create a special October “Spooky Stories” campaign for the Discovery Map, which included all of the graphics and logos for the campaign, social media and blog posts. Periodically there were also smaller graphic needs that I was able to meet such as cover designs for events, partner recognition cards, and one page infographics to support the work of OHP.

 Another great thing about working for OHP is the way that the office is willing to support its interns and their development. In office, I have always had guidance from OHP staff when I have had questions or needed feedback on a project. I have also had the opportunity to attend conferences which have been amazing networking and professional development opportunities. In reflecting on my internship experience, I’m amazed at the amount of professional development that has happened over the last few months and I truly couldn’t have imagined a better way to start my career!