Frida Terrazas (Class of 2021) - Orientation and Training Intern

Frida Terrazas has spent most of her life in Durango, México, but she lived in London and Paris before coming to Franklin. In her free time, she enjoys learning new languages, doing puzzles (a hobby she picked up during the COVID-19 pandemic), and practicing the ukulele. In 2021, Frida will graduate with a B.A. in International Relations.

This summer, Frida is working as Franklin’s Orientation and Training Intern. Frida has worked orientation during previous years, so she understands what it takes to organize and implement a successful orientation week. While this year’s orientation will take place virtually rather than in-person, Frida is helping to ensure a user-friendly experience. In this interview, Frida gives her first-year self a piece of advice, opens up about living in Paris and London, and talks about her internship.

 

What is the last book you read?

I like to read several books at once. Right now, I’m reading Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan. The last book I read was La sombra del viento by Carlos Ruiz Záfon.

If you could meet anyone who is alive today, who would it be and why?

Ay, no! When you said, “who’s alive today,” that changed my answer. Frida Kahlo instantly came to mind because today’s the anniversary of her death (13 July). I was named after her, and I think her life story is so interesting. But somebody who is alive? Probably Michelle Obama.

If you could go back in time to your first year at Franklin, what advice would you give yourself? In other words, what advice would you give incoming students?

It may be nice to find things in common with someone because they speak your same language or come from a similar region, but I would also try to get out of your comfort zone. Try to get along with a person who is different than you so you learn from them.

Before coming to Franklin, you lived in Paris and London. What were you doing there, and what was your experience?

I started high school in México. Then my mom applied for a Ph.D. at University College London and she brought us along. I had never left my hometown and it was really hard for me.

When I was living there, it suddenly hit me that back home, we have this mentality that we have to follow the same plan. You go to high school, you go to university, and then you work. It’s a very linear thing. When I was in the UK, I realized that some people decide not to go to university, some people do an internship, and some go straight to work. It was eye-opening for me.

After living in London, you moved to France as an Au Pair. Can you describe that transition?

I lived with this French family in Paris for ten months. It was interesting. In London, I kept some of my traditions from back home because my family was with me. In Paris, they ate dinner at 7 p.m., and back home, I had dinner at 9 p.m.. Breakfast for them was just coffee and toast. Back home, breakfast is a big thing. You have coffee, chilaquiles, eggs… it was an interesting change.  

Now, let’s get into it. Describe your internship experience thus far in 3 words.

Engaging, enriching, and intense.

In the fall, orientation will take place virtually. As the Orientation and Training Intern, what do your daily tasks involve?

I interview people to get many different perspectives on the Franklin experience, organize video shootings, create polls, Google Forms, and surveys, as well as brainstorm useful information for the upcoming virtual orientation. 

Did the COVID-19 pandemic influence your decision to apply for this internship?

This is the first summer that I’m spending in Lugano, and COVID-19 definitely influenced my decision to stay and apply for the internship. Right now, I would be back home doing the usual things, but this pandemic forced me to get out of my comfort zone. I am a senior, so this will be the last time I get the chance to spend a summer in Lugano under these conditions.

Why did you choose this internship?

I chose this internship because I realized that I would be most comfortable in this area. I have worked as [an Orientation Mentor] before and I have enjoyed improving this experience for incoming students.

Have you gained any skills or knowledge since you started your internship?

Yes, I have improved my time management skills because I have office hours and I have many meetings with different people – from faculty, staff, and the student body – which has caused me to become more organized. All of these interactions have also improved my communication skills.

Where do you envision yourself five years from now?

I envision myself studying for a master's degree in Europe, maybe something related to International Commerce or Business. I will only continue my education after I gain some work experience in non-governmental organizations and if I work hard enough, in an international organization. 

If you could define your Franklin experience in 3 words, what would they be?

Diverse, fulfilling, and character-building.