After next Tuesday I will have completed my internship with The Nature Conservancy. Most of my internship revolved around setting up the Washington Coast Works: Sustainable Small Business Competition boot camp in Forks, Washington. My job was to plan a four-day intensive business training – and it went off without a hitch.
In regards to my learning objectives I think I was fairly successful. My goals for the summer related to fully understanding the organizations that I am with, as well as successfully planning the boot camp. I had a lot of practice with computer programs in order to create documents for the weekend, as well as to give the participants access to a series of materials. I planned the days and organized the conference center to suit everyone’s’ needs. Before the boot camp I also had the chance to meet everyone in the Nature Conservancy office in Seattle, and next Tuesday I will be presenting to them about the progress of the project and my internship.
After my work this summer I have a better idea of how I would like to direct my studies, as well as what I might like to be doing after school. I want to take a larger environmental focus to my learning, instead of just in my extracurriculars. After school I’d like to work with small businesses in South America because now I have a better idea of how to develop sustainable small businesses.
The Nature Conservancy was a fantastic place to work with and I hope others want to intern with them as well. I’ve talked with my supervisor about possibly continuing to work with them. My only advice is to keep a good attitude and to work hard. I worked extremely hard, and my supervisors definitely took notice.
I don’t know if my ideas of social justice have been challenged, but I’ve definitely had a chance to think more about them. This is primarily due to one of the participants in the competition, Jean. Jean is from Queets Village which is part of the Quinault Indian Nation. During the competition Jean spoke about the 95% unemployment rate in her village, as well as the fact that they lack a zip code. I never had thought about how difficult it might be to start a business when you don’t even have a zip code. She spoke about the difficulties of being recognized, and I have to agree with her. The tribes in Washington are such a crucial part of our history, but it seems like the government tries to forget about them. I’m definitely glad that my project focused on Native communities.