Internship Site: The New England Aquarium
- Boston, MA
I live near the New England Aquarium and I made several trips to visit it as I
was growing up. I always admired and appreciated the organization, and thought
it would be interesting to work there. This past fall, I was looking for
internship opportunities near my home over the summer and stumbled across the
application on the Aquarium’s website.
My favorite tasks were
field responses - which combined clinical knowledge, field assessment skills,
and public relations and education. I loved the unpredictability and hands-on
aspects of field work! No two field responses are ever similar: the public is
always watching and we don’t know what to expect until we arrive. The thrill of assisting in a rescue is
motivating and highly rewarding. Being
able to help educate the public is important and helps me practice and improve
upon my understanding and articulation of this sub-field of biology.
“Changing Ocean Ecosystems” (Bio 101) helped introduce me to many of the topics
and environments I worked with in this internship. The dissections we performed
in lab helped me become familiar with the physiology of common aquatic animals
I encountered. It also helped me understand the aquatic conditions that we
maintained within the rehab facility. “Microbiology 326” helped me understand
much of the lab work that was performed. When one of the patients tested
positive for bacteria, I had a greater foundation and was able to comprehend
what was in the animals system and how that would impact their physiology.
After spending 12 weeks with the Rescue and Rehab team, I know that I want to
pursue emergency veterinary medicine. I was originally anticipating that I
would prefer the clinical work to field work, but I was surprised to find that
I greatly preferred the field work to clinical work. This internship confirmed
that I want to treat a mixed-animal practice and that I do not want to limit my
work to cats and dogs. However, I learned that I prefer working with mammals to
reptiles. I also learned that I prefer working with the public and having
educational interactions than limiting myself to testing in a lab.
This internship confirmed
that I want to work in a field that is unpredictable, with no constant daily
routine or expectations. I want to do hands-on clinical work because I find
that seeing immediate results is highly rewarding. I want to treat, and I want
to do emergency veterinary medicine.
Tips from Elizabeth:
Be ambitious and not be afraid to apply to a competitive internship. Apply to
several places; it will give you choices and more opportunities. Even if you
get an internship that is not your #1 choice, it can still become an awesome
*To find out more about how to get an internship, make an
appointment with a career counselor. Just call the Career Center at
717-245-1740 or stop by Biddle House.