Intern site: Association for Wild Animal Rehabilitation and Education (AWARE) in Lockport, New York
Title: Organization Presenter and Exhibit Educator
Hometown: North Tonawanda, New York
Tell us about your responsibilities as an intern.
I work with a group of animal rehabilitators, and thus my responsibilities are varied. Primarily, I'm here to help present at our semi-weekly shows. We will set up our tent with photo books, educational material, small exhibits highlighting dangers to wildlife, and also bring some permanently disabled birds. During the course of the day, we talk to passers-by about what to do if they find an injured animal, how they can make their yard a safer place for wildlife, and talk about our disabled birds and explain why they can't go back to the wild. In addition, I occasionally babysit growing birds, providing them with supportive care. I also do some graphic work for our website, www.awarewildlife.com, and am putting our newsletter together.
Who did you work with in the company or organization during your internship?
My site supervisor has been beyond stellar in helping me adjust to the working environment. I also work with the rest of our crew during our shows. We work together fielding questions from the public as well as displaying birds and occasionally selling t-shirts.
What was your most important contribution to the organization?
As simple as this is, just being there as an extra pair of willing and helping hands has reaped its benefits. The fact that I'm flexible, capable of doing a variety of different things, and able to switch gears quickly has also helped our group.
How has your internship prepared you for your future?
I learned good parenting techniques from rehabilitating a nest of baby starlings. I also learned how to field questions from the public at a rapid-fire speed (people come and go so quickly at our presentation tent). In the broad sense, though, the most interesting piece of information I gleaned was this: jobs like these aren't just one task. You don't just do the same thing, just as you don't eat the same food every day. As a member of this organization, I've been charged with many tasks from babysitting birds to putting our newsletter together.