Kayleigh Weaver, 2014
Environmental Studies major
Assateague Island National Sea Shore
National Resource Education intern
Summer 2012 - Unpaid
Kayleigh Weaver was responsible for developing and giving many different education programs, which were designed to educate the public on topics from historical and biological information to clamming and crabbing demonstrations. She ran her programs for groups of up to one hundred park visitors at a time. At the beginning of the internship, Weaver went through two weeks of training where she learned about barrier island ecology, did island tours and learned about the field of interpretation.
“I had all the responsibilities of a paid professional,” she said. This, Weaver claimed, really helped her learn time management since she had to not only design her own programs. This involved hours of researching, writing and practicing. She also had responsibilities working behind the front desk answering telephones and performing general customer service duties. It was the interdisciplinary aspect of Ursinus that really aided her in performing to her best ability at her internship, she said. “One of the main things we learn at Ursinus is how to look at problems through an interdisciplinary lens. That really helped my programs stick out.”
The park offered Weaver good networking experience particularly, she says, because she went to the park herself and asked about internships they offered. “I actually met the intern that was currently working there and through her I was able to meet her boss who became my supervisor.” Weaver was also the only interpretation intern at the park, so she was able to make connections with many of the professionals who worked at the park. Through these people she discovered other internship opportunities.
“There is still a lot I would like to do,” said Weaver. This internship allowed her to develop her own views on environmentalism, communication, and the social connection between the environment and human society.
“Don’t just rely on the computer to find an internship. When you go out and you look for your internship and you talk to real people it just shows a higher level of interest, a high level of dedication. And that’s just giving you an edge.”