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BAFF Professional Internship Program intern Silvija Burbaite’s experience

As a recent Arts and Heritage graduate, I had an interest of working with museums. Needless to say, I was excited to start my internship at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, where I was planning to work with visitor education. The museum specializes in Holocaust history and human rights issues around the world. It creates a valuable interactive experience for its visitors by encouraging them to ask questions and facilitating a dialogue.

Of course, the most valuable and exceptional part of the visit to this museum is listening to Holocaust survivors, who come in to tell their stories of survival every week. It has been a truly eye-opening and humbling experience to see these remarkably strong people, whose lives have been marked with such tragic events.

I was happily working with educational programs for students of various ages, assisting with as many tasks that I could get my hands onto, enjoying the time in LA and had still so much to see when the pandemic hit in March. The museum was immediately closed until further notice (and is still closed today), and so many of my day-to-day tasks had crumbled. It was not easy, but I decided to stay and experience what it means to work in a museum under a lock-down. It also allowed me to explore a bit more of the beautiful nature in the U.S.

I am excited to experience such a beautiful winter here in Lithuania but who would not miss the constant sunshine and the warmth of LA. To summarize my experience, I feel like I have changed and grown a lot, both as a professional and as a person. For that, I am grateful to BAFF and the Museum of Tolerance for this enriching opportunity.