April 19, 2016 • Anonymous
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After taking a class at Manhattanville College about the Holocaust and finding it interesting, Frances Cruz ‘18 applied for an internship at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. There she expanded her knowledge and awareness of the subject, as well as learning more about history and international politics.
The Holocaust and the museum have always been of interest to her. “I actually visited the museum when I first came for orientation… And then I started looking for opportunities to work there,” Cruz said.
Knowing that this place was so important to her, she looked ahead to when she would be ready for an internship. When the time came, she had taken a class on the Holocaust that motivated her to eventually apply for the position. In her class, “The Holocaust and Culture,” she was able to view the events of the Holocaust from different religious perspectives. Her class was so informative, that Professor Shargel even served as a reference for her application.
After interviewing and learning that she received the position, she began working in January after returning from Manhattanville’s Winter Break. After spending much of her time at the museum, she considers her days there classes, “When I get to do tour shadowing I always learn something new in the exhibitions.”
As an international studies
major and a double minor in political science
, her prior knowledge is helpful during her days at the museum. “I was in the museum the other day, and I did a tour and a lot of the propaganda in the exhibitions is in German, and now I can understand,” she said.
Cruz finds all of her time at the museum satisfying. By working with a small staff and two other interns, she is given a variety of opportunities. She is currently planning a luncheon with the development department. But, her favorite experiences usually have to do with learning about actual experiences of people. These programs are rewarding, and allow her to be in contact with the survivors who are thankful for the museum’s work. Whether it is attending testimonies of survivors and then meeting them face-to-face or working with the Polish Pension Program and reaching out to Polish Holocaust survivors living in the United States, giving them restitution. “They would write [to us], with their hands, the story of what happened to them. And it’s so interesting to know.”
Due to her ongoing experience at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Cruz recommends that everyone complete an internship. No matter if it is required or not, because the experience is incredible, and ultimately helpful. “You actually feel like you are growing up, because you are learning and then applying what you know to your job.”
As a sophomore, Cruz does not need her future in place just yet, but she is working to achieve her goals to work at the United Nations. She is also following her own advice and plans on applying for internships each semester, in order to see different perspective for her future.
This story was written by Katherine Matuszek ‘19
The photo above was taken by Tara Murphy ‘18
School of Arts and Sciences
Center for Career DevelopmentFrances CruzGermanInternational StudiesPolitical Science