Erica White '13
Internship Title: Museum Services Operations and Enrichment
Employer and location: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC
Describe your duties:
I did a variety of things while working at the museum. We rotated on an hourly schedule so we were never doing the same thing for too long. I would be up in the exhibit monitoring visitors and answering any questions they had, I ran the summer film program that showed informational videos about the Holocaust and other genocides. I worked at the information desk to answer any questions and also helped distribute tickets. I also lead museum orientations that introduced school groups to the museum and the meaning behind it.
What did you enjoy most about your internship?
I enjoyed interacting with visitors every day. I definitely realized through this internship that I am going to have a very difficult time spending an entire day behind a desk. The fact that I was able to move around all the time also was a plus because I never was doing the same thing for too long. I also really enjoyed interacting with the Holocaust survivors that volunteer at the museum. Their stories are inspiring and should never be forgotten.
What was the most difficult aspect of the internship?
Standing on my feet for eight hours a day definitely wasn't easy and also trying to be understanding to difficult visitors. It was sometimes difficult to deal with rude or uneducated visitors. I got questions about the Holocaust that were downright offensive.
How did your experience at Bucknell prepare you for your internship?
How did your internship prepare you for a career? Through the classes I have taken because of my religion major, I had a good understanding of the Jewish religion. This internship prepared me for my career because it forced me to become comfortable with public speaking very quickly. It also taught me to be patient with people who are in a new environment and don't exactly understand everything that is going on around them. Although I don't think I want to pursue a career in museum services this internship was a rewarding experience.
What recommendations do you have for other students considering doing an internship?
Even if the opportunity isn't exactly what you are looking for, internships are job experiences. You never know what the connections you make in an internship will lead to. I also I would recommend applying to as many internships as possible because you never know which one might pan out and offer you an amazing experience.