How was your first week as an intern?

17 June 2014: My first week as a high school intern went pretty good, at first I was extremely nervous but each day it got better and better. Day one went by slow, in a good way! This gave me a chance to settle my nerves and begin to enjoy all the fun that goes on inside the aquarium every day. Also a whole lot of touch tank time made this process even easier =). My day two was pretty fun as well, mainly because it was my first morning shift. But day three was the best so far…Gatorrrr Time!!!! That was my first day with all the wonderful alligators, and it was a blast. Every day with the alligators has been awesome, no offence to the turtles. I also got to help with the touch tank feeding this day, which was great. Day four was a big girl day for me, because I was the only high school intern there that afternoon which meant that I got to do a lot more things on my own a little. That whole week was just awesome for me; it was a great introduction to the amazing summer experience that awaits me.

What did you think about helping with Husbandry tasks?

26 June 2014: I like most of the husbandry duties so far….=). I feel they’re a very important part of working at the aquarium. I think it show us how to have fun and be responsible at the same time. Like we still have to help take care of all the animals, and not just play with them for a little while then put them back. Each husbandry task that I have performed has all been very different but still each a pretty fun learning experience. The one that was the most interesting was cleaning the salt marsh, it wasn’t the most fun but it was the pretty interesting in a way. Another husbandry task that I am kind of excited about doing is cleaning the alligator bins, which I watched today and will hopefully, do next week. I honestly just love the gators!…maybe that why I liked it so much.
I can’t way to see what’s next, thanks again for everything!

You are halfway through your internship, what your thoughts?

7 July 2014: Mostly that I don’t want the internship to end. It really is so much fun, like everyday I don’t know what’s going to happen. There is never a dull moment, even on my struggle mornings. =) I love how I meet people from all over the world every day all day, and I love helping create memorable moments for all of them. I also love how much I learn about people, animals, and just the whole world constantly. There is also something new to see, like today watching Liberty eat a rabbit. That’s not something you see everyday, it was a great way to start off the day! But most of all the staff and all the other interns are what really make all this so great. You guys are really awesome! =)

What is your favorite part of the internship so far?

21 July 2014: I honestly don’t think that I have an absolute favorite, but my top three are the touch tank, animal programs with the alligators and the shell cart. But for now I’ll pick the touch tank since I just left there. The touch tank is my current favorite at the moment for two reasons, the feeding and the time I get to talk to little kids about the sea stars, sea urchins etc. Being on the smaller side of the touch tank is so much better to me, mainly because it’s more personal. I feel on that side you truly can interact with the guest, there you can somehow bring their experience to a new height. To me seeing and touching interesting animals isn’t much fun if can’t share your idea and knowledge with a total stranger. I hope that makes sense… the feeding is just an all-around fun task to me, it’s just really cool. Sometimes I wish I could feed all of the animals. But honestly it’s hard to pick a favorite because everything is usually always pretty interesting even the trading post sometimes ;). This is literally the best job!

What advice would you give future applicants?

2 August 2014: To all future applicants, this high school intern programs is one of the best ways you could spend your summer. I promise! Even the training classes are awesome. This has probably been one of the best summers of my life, and I’m sure you guys will feel the same. Every day you get to meet people from all over the world and possibly create moments that they will never forget. And that is one of the best feelings in the world. But honestly some of the best moments will come from all the time you spend with the other interns, Drew & Ashley, and the whole aquarium staff. You guys will meet some great people and build amazing friendships just like I did. You will also meet some of the coolest animals in the world, but most of all Gator time will always be the best time!:-)
Good Luck to you all!