For college students this summer, finding work in their major proved to be a challenge. From state restrictions on businesses due to COVID-19, to a lack of available jobs, the opportunities to gain valuable job experience were far less than usual. Rising senior Elyse Nurenberg encountered this problem in her home state of Michigan, giving her pause on whether she would be able to gain experience or not in her career field of choice — history — before launching into her final year of college. Thankfully, due to her background in history at Christendom, she managed to overcome all obstacles and land a position at Fayette Historic State Park — setting her up for further success after graduation.

Christendom’s history majors go on to succeed in a wide variety of career paths, including teaching, pursuing a PhD, or working actively in a museum or archival setting. Nurenberg wants to follow in past history alumni’s footsteps, which made landing her job this summer as a historical interpreter that much more important.

Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Fayette Historic State Park houses a historic iron smelting town with many original buildings and artifacts. Visitors come to the park to learn more about the history of the site and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Lake Michigan. In her role as a historical interpreter, Nurenberg gave tours of the town and furnace complex, answered visitors’ questions, and helped to preserve the site, responsibilities that gave her great experience in her desired field.

Nurenberg gives a tour to park visitors.

“I sought out this position because after I graduate from Christendom, I would like to work full-time for a museum or historical site. This position offered an excellent chance to gain experience in the field of museum work, as well as the opportunity to make connections with people already working in the field,” she shared.

According to Nurenberg, Christendom assisted her in landing this position in many ways. First, her interviewers were impressed with the history curriculum she had undertaken as a history major, and her high GPA. In addition, director of career development, Kristin Stephens helped Nurenberg to find internships of interest and polish her resume and cover letter. History professor, Dr. Michael Kelly assisted Nuremberg in her career discernment, offering advice about different ways to work in historical fields, as well as writing letters of recommendations. Together, these things have helped Nurenberg to earn and excel in her role.

Looking back at the incredible opportunity she had over the summer, Nurenberg is thankful for the professional experience.

“Despite the different challenges that I had to face to make the position work out due to COVID-19 restrictions, I am really glad that I was able to gain on the job experience and develop skills that will transfer well into my chosen career,” she explained.

Nurenberg is just one of many Christendom students who have spent their summers gaining valuable professional skills through completing an internship. From exploring the world of journalism, to learning the ropes of IT, to fighting for the pro-life cause, Christendom students overcame the various challenges of the summer of 2020 and completed a variety of internships, setting themselves apart as valuable employees and preparing themselves for their future careers.

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