As a cadet at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, my last day of school was not until the middle of June, setting me pretty far behind intern candidates from other colleges. This setback often is a large obstacle when trying to obtain in internship in the summer. However, the National Marine Life Center welcomed me with open arms.
Traditionally, the summer intern program lasts twelve weeks, while I only had seven to give. Ms. Zagzebski offered to have me start as a volunteer, taking part in one shift per week beginning in March. This way, I technically would have completed the twelve week time period while still being able to attend classes, finals, and Fall Orientation in August, our short bootcamp for the incoming freshmen.
I worked on Tuesday mornings over in the hospital for eight weeks and let me tell you, they were by far the best hours of my week. Being able to work hands-on with sea turtles and seals is truly an honor for someone who has grown up dying to be a marine biologist since the young age of six. During those short hours each week, I learned all about the different diseases and injuries our patients could potentially have, the anatomy of turtles and seals, as well as individual behaviors that each of our patients have. Coming in as a full-time intern was such an easy transition after being a volunteer for two months.
The best part about becoming a full-time intern was the start of my Discovery Center shifts. After graduating with a Marine Science, Safety, and Environmental Protection Major with concentrations in Marine Biology and Education in 2020, I wish to be a science educator whether that is in the public school setting or in a marine science organization such as NMLC. When visitors come in to check out the center, I get to share my passion for both education and our patients. I could not have asked for a better opportunity. In my two weeks as a full-time intern, and my previous eight weeks as a volunteer, I have learned so much about my favorite animals as well as how to better educate the public. I am so fortunate to be able to work with such incredible staff members and volunteers and I am greatly looking forward to the upcoming weeks of pup season!
Posted by Megan L
Megan is a summer 2018 intern at the National Marine Life Center. She is a junior at Massachusetts Maritime Academy majoring in Marine Science, Safety, and Environmental Protection.