Ashley Breault | Marketing Intern | Ocean Studies and Communications Student at University of New England
Currently, I am a senior at the University of New England (UNE) where I am a double major in Ocean Studies/Marine Affairs and Communications. This summer, I was the Marketing Intern at the Seacoast Science Center. The work I have been doing in marketing department not only applies to my Communications major, but also my Ocean Studies/Marine Affairs major. I could not have found an internship that better fits both my areas of study and that has allowed me to make connections with people in both fields.
This internship has been a rewarding and amazing learning experience. My supervisor, Director of Marketing, Karen Provazza, and colleagues, proved to be extremely knowledgeable, not only about all things Seacoast Science Center, but also about career path options. They are all great role models; great ocean stewards and great people in general. The Center and its staff have exceeded my expectations of what this internship would be like and I couldn’t be happier with the way my summer turned out.
I had never participated in an internship experience before this summer and I had no idea what to expect. I though that I would spend most of my time working with Karen on basic advertising and communications projects. Karen worked with me on not only those anticipated projects, but she also showed me the ins and outs of working for a non-profit and explained all of the different jobs associated with the Center. I had the opportunity to work with other staff members in different departments within my first few weeks to get to experience, first-hand, the Center’s programs and mission in action.
When I first arrived at the Center, Karen gave me a tour of the facility, introduced me to key staff members, and showed me projects she was currently working on. She gave me a list of potential projects that I could start, finish, or contribute to. Karen went over different procedures we have in the case of emergencies, and throughout the summer she taught me about the different actions taken when it comes to marine mammal response and rescue, which came in handy when we had a few seal pup rescues and Snowplow, the beached humpback whale, to respond to!
A large part of what I did at the Center was draft promotional campaigns and work with their social media accounts. I had the opportunity to work on several blog posts throughout the summer, which tied in with my Communications and Ocean Studies classes perfectly. I wrote a blog post about microplastics, a topic that I did a whole project on in one of my marine classes this past semester.
It was fun to see that what I am learning in school is useful outside the classroom. I feel like the classes I’ve taken have better prepared me for not only this internship but also life after college. When I can answer questions that little kids ask me about the tide pools and the animals they find, without hesitation, I feel proud of my education and the knowledge that I have gained through the programs at UNE.
My supervisor and colleagues have been nothing but professional and personable. They are all so welcoming and open to take me in as part of the crew. They have shown me what a real work place looks and sounds like and how colleagues interact with each other. They have given me advice about graduate schools and beyond and have shown me what kind of office environment I wish to work in some day.
This internship hasn’t changed my mind in terms of what I want to do with my life after college, if anything it has made me want to achieve my goals even more. It has reassured me that what I want to do for the rest of my life is a real job, something that actually exists and that people get paid for, and something very do-able if I keep working hard. It has also showed me that if I do change my mind, it is okay. This internship has showed me that what I learn in the classroom is important information, used in real life situations, and vital to ocean education. It has allowed me to see how important effective communication skills are and confirmed that my Communications degree will prove to be an asset.
I’ve learned that everything I’ve been taught throughout the years will help me at some point in my life, and everyday I am learning new skills and information that will help me in the future. This internship has been an amazing learning experience and something I will always appreciate. I have made connections with people I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to and have been pushed to go outside my comfort zone to make those connections.
My internship, supervisor, and colleagues have taught me so much in this short semester. I have become more professional and organized, better prepared for ‘real world,’ and have gained important skills that are vital to the work place. I will forever be grateful of this opportunity to intern at the Seacoast Science Center.