Adelphi alumna lands dream job preserving history at the national September 11 memorial and museum.
Melanie Derschowitz ’10
B.A. in History and Anthropology
Assistant Cataloguer, 9/11 Memorial
Coming in as a transfer student during my sophomore year to pursue my B.A. in History and Anthropology at Adelphi, I was constantly thinking about how I could achieve my goal of working in a museum.
My internship experiences played a crucial role in bringing me closer to my goals. Experience within the field was something employers noticed and interviewers often asked about. My Anthropology advisor, from my undergraduate studies, helped me secure three wonderful internships at two reputable museums.
My first internship was at the American Museum of Natural History under the Curatorial Assistant, which led to another wonderful internship there under the Collections Manager the following year. My experiences there gave me first-hand insight into what working in a museum was like and helped me figure out where my interests within museum work lay, working hands-on with museum artifacts. My Anthropology advisor also helped me secure a third internship after I finished graduate school. She introduced me to a fellow Anthropology professor who offered me an internship at the Heritage Museum of Epirus as a Collections Intern. I enjoyed working with the museum’s unique collection and working with other museum professionals.
Maintaining good relationships with former professors and staff was very helpful. I would not have achieved these wonderful internships and gained such invaluable experiences if I hadn’t stayed in contact with my former advisor.
Adelphi’s Center for Career Development also played a huge role in the final step of preparing for my career. The staff was very helpful prepping me through a mock interview. I received constructive criticism and positive feedback on how I could improve my responses during an interview. I think it was because of their help that I was able to ace my first big job interview at the 9/11 Memorial and subsequently receive a job offer. I have been the “Assistant Cataloguer” at the 9/11 Memorial since September 2012 and have had an interesting array of tasks and responsibilities. Most of my time is spent cataloging the museum’s vast collection on their online database but I have also had the opportunity to handle, measure, and photograph objects as well. I’m happy to say that after years of hard work, I’ve not only achieved my goal of working in a reputable museum, but that I’ve accomplished more than I could ever have imagined in the process.
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