Intern Name: Charly Frisk
Major(s): Environmental Studies, Peace Studies
Title/Place of Internship: Community Education Intern for The Butterfly Pavilion
How did you find out about your internship/fellowship/etc.?
I sought out the guidance of CSB/SJU's XPD offices for help in researching internship opportunities within my local community that would manifest my intention of doing meaningful and impactful work. Incorporating my professional aspirations and deliberately seeking out opportunities aligning with my passions guide me to a very becoming internship opportunity.
What were your responsibilities at your internship/fellowship/etc.?
I worked across three intersecting departments: education, community education, and exhibit interpretation. In working with education, I prepared and organized materials to welcome and teach groups from summer camps. In working for community education, I assisted in programming facilitation for the community (yoga, photography, community events, special events at the facility, etc.). For my exhibit interpretation duties, I fostered empathy with the natural world with meaningful interactions with a few invertebrates (tarantulas, sea-stars, butterflies, and larvae!).
What was the most beneficial aspect of your experience?
The dynamic experience involved a drastic variation in day-to-day duties. I spent one day walking on a butterfly tour through native Colorado gardens and blooming lavender fields and another day at a conference for bee-keeping amidst a swarming apiary. Typical days involved handling a live Chilean rose-hair tarantula, explaining the importance of horseshoe-crab blood, and inviting visitors into a greenhouse of hundreds of free-flying butterflies. No matter the day, the take away was always the same. I was honored to watch the magic of a meaningful connection with nature and the awe-inspiring impact it had on the visitors to our facility.
What was the most surprising thing you experienced or learned during your internship/fellowship/etc.?
I was surprised at the growth I, largely due to an inspiring faculty moderator and site supervisor, was able to accomplish over the course of a summer. My confidence within my ability to establish strong and empathetic interpersonal connections blossomed as I was able to cultivate curiosity for a planet so in need of our attention.
How can you apply what you experienced at your internship/fellowship/etc. in the future?
Through my many interactions with guests at the Butterfly Pavilion, I learned how to translate complex socio-scientific concepts to the general public in a creative, inspiring, and persuasive manner. I hope to apply such understanding to a future career in law, in which I will be able to communicate science in a manner that effectively entices individuals, communities, and governments alike to take action to support our Earth.
What advice would you offer to future students interested in this experience?
The kindest thing you can do for your future self is to get to know what makes you. What sets your heart aflame? How will you make a contribution with your individual talents? What inspires you? Discovering your passions will be exponentially beneficial in your search for a meaningful experience. Research multitudinous opportunities that resonate and manifest your passion. To seek an opportunity that fuels the heart (a progresses professional aspirations) is to guarantee growth.