I found myself questioning whether I was going to be a good fit for such position and many times I felt like someone else could’ve benefited more from this experience then myself. Surely, after arriving to the Sunderland office in Amherst and being introduced to all my peers by my onsite supervisor, Jennifer Lapis, I quickly got rid of such thoughts and feelings.
Working with such an amazing supportive staff this summer made this experience an unforgettable one. I counted with the endless support from my onsite supervisors from the FWS, as well my HAF supervisor, Marlene. Any given project that came to mind was eagerly welcomed by my peers and accomplished together as a team. Every day I learned about the endless projects that I could work on during the summer. Designing interpretive signs, fun and educational programs, and even get creative and designing my own set of butterfly wings. Realizing how much support I counted with made visitor service work and community outreach less intimidating for me.
During the closeout ceremony at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Northeast Regional Office, each of the HAF interns for the region gave a final presentation on the amazing projects we got to work on back at our respective locations. Each of us gave a brief “show” before our peers, supervisors and other partners. At first, we all admitted being slightly nervous to present before everyone, but at the end, each of us did a great job presenting and I couldn’t help to feel proud of each of us and our accomplishments during this internship.
All the amazing projects and impact we made during this internship made me feel proud of myself and my peers. Even thought the work that we signed up to do is now completed, I hope that we each get to carry on with the mission of the U.S. FWS and help inspire more and more individuals to do the same. We all became a family this summer and I hope we keep in contact!