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Liz Cavanaugh '14

Liz Cavanaugh spotlight photoDouble Major: Art History & Philosophy
Co-founder: Philosophy Club
Member: Gardening Club & Irish Club
Internship: Old Westbury Gardens

Finding the Internship
I have been visiting Old Westbury Gardens for a long time. I have always loved going there and exploring the grounds. My mother is on the Board of the Friends of Old Westbury Gardens and she put me in touch with the Director of Public Relations. My timing was great, the intern that had been working there had just left and they were looking for a replacement.  I had my resume ready to go because I had just gotten it approved by the CCD for my portfolio. 

My Internship 
I interned in the Archives Department and the Public Relations Department. In the Archives Department I created a new archiving system for the building maintenance information and the history of the house. In the Public Relations Department I was able to work independently and develop both my Public Relations skills and my organizational skills. Some of my responsibilities included helping to reformat the touring system and creating new tour guidelines. I also spoke to visitors to gather feedback about their experience at Old Westbury Gardens. Before my internship was over I had the chance to be a part of a project that involved the development of audio tours. 

Networking is huge! All of the departments within Old Westbury Gardens work with each other on a number of projects. I met a lot of people there; everyone was friendly and willing to help. I am in contact with a few of my colleagues and I hope to find myself back there again after graduation.  

Favorite Experience
I was able to sit in on and contribute during brainstorming sessions. We talked about ideas for obtaining more donations, future events and mailers. I also had the chance to go to the back room in the Archives Department and see original documents related to the history of Long Island.

Internships Help You Make Decisions
When my internship was over, I realized that working in an Archives Department was not for me. I enjoyed the creative side of art history much more. The practical experience at my internship helped me make that decision.

Intern more than once if you can. Prior to interning at Old Westbury Gardens, I had interned for a large corporation. After interning at Old Westbury Gardens I realized that I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of non-profit much more. Having both experiences helped me narrow down my decisions about my future career path.  Also, look for Internships early- 4 years goes by fast!