My First Internship

By Jennifer Miller

I am currently teaching an internship class where I require the students to blog about their experiences.  I have been doing this for a couple of semesters now and this semester I have decided to blog along with them to give them examples about what they can blog about.  My blog posts allow me to communicate with my students about some of my experiences which I might not have time for in class or may not feel is appropriate for the class.

Below was my first post to the class.

Is this your first internship?  If not, write about your other internship experiences for your first blog post.  If it is then what are you expecting to gain from this experience?  My first internship was at the Waterman Conservation Education Center  (http://www.watermancenter.org/)  in Apalachin, NY in the late 1980’s.  I was an Environmental Studies and Economics double major at SUNY Binghamton.  I found what I was studying to be rather dismal and depressing; so I found myself a credit internship at a Nature Center.  It was a great experience and I learned a lot.  I remember that there was a class that I had to go to and I had to write and present a paper.  There was a requirement of how many hours I had to intern.

After this internship I was still interested in environmental education as a possible career…so I did another internship.  This one was full-time and I lived at the nature center.  I didn’t need the credit so I took a semester off from school to do it.  It was at the NYS DEC’s Rogers Environmental Education Center in Sherburne, NY.  I received a $50 a week stipend and a place to live.  At those two internships I worked with some of the nicest people l have ever met.

Those two internships led to a part-time job at another nature center in Johnson City, NY.  Eventually, I decided that this wasn’t the right direction for me partly because my major was so policy focused and I still didn’t feel like I was really prepared.  Also, being from the Bronx, I didn’t see myself living in the remote types of places where many of the jobs were located.

My love of nature and the environment are still important in my life even though its not my career.  I regularly go hiking and for several years I served on the FIT’s Faculty Senate’s Ad Hoc Sustainability Committee.  Internships can teach you a lot about what’s important to you even if you decide to pursue a different career.

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