During Phoebe’s sophomore year, she took a biology course with Dr. Goddard in which they did research through The Wetlands Institute for two weeks. She was immediately interested in pursuing a summer internship there. Her role as an intern was to educate the public on the native ecology of the wetlands, as well as the plants and animals that occupy them. She had to make sure that she had a solid understanding of this information herself, in order to teach a crowd. Phoebe’s days were busy with anything from handling live animals, presenting on various plants and animals, leading kayak tours, and animal care. Her goal by the end of her internship was to have a solid idea of where she wants to take her career after Ursinus and which graduate programs she wants to pursue.
The main skill Phoebe developed during her internship was public speaking. She spoke in front of large groups every day and became comfortable with being put on the spot. She also developed a skill for dealing with uncomfortable situations while public speaking. Overall, she had to be ready for anything!
Who I Met that Made a Difference
Phoebe’s boss, who ran the education department of the Wetlands Institute, was her greatest influence. She learned a lot from her boss’s work ethic and was inspired by her positivity. It was helpful for her to have a boss who was so easy to approach with any questions that came up throughout her internship.
Phoebe completed her internship with a new respect for the environmental field. Her experience opened up several doors to all the directions she could go. By interning, she was able to realize what her specific interests are within the environmental field and how she can pursue them in the future. Her internship was also a valuable experience for her resume and she can refer to what she learned there in any job. The relationships and connections she built at the Wetlands Institute are valuable and something she can rely on as she pursues graduate school and a career.
The Coolest Part of the Experience
Phoebe found that the coolest part of her internship was being able to live nearby the beach with her friends. She was able to really immerse herself in the culture of Stone Harbor while she worked. She also appreciated that her responsibilities included amazing things like handling turtles and kayaking through the bay.
“Just go for it. No matter how much it may seem out of your comfort zone or how scary/different it may be, the best thing is to step out of what you’re familiar with and explore fields that may seem completely different or something you never saw yourself doing. I was very hesitant in taking this internship and almost didn’t because I was scared to live far away from home on my own until a family member told me I would be crazy to let this opportunity slip through my fingers. I jumped into the deep end and learned how to swim. Every single day during my internship I said to myself, I would have regretted it so much if I didn’t take this internship. It’s a whole new experience I now have under my belt even though it felt like the craziest thing to do. It was one of the best learning experiences I gained over my four years at Ursinus.”