By: Laura Genouw
Now that we’ve started college, we have officially turned into “adults” and the days of carefree summer vacations are no more. Summer for the college student is an opportunity to get an internship, catch up on classes by taking extra credits, get a job; you name it. Working all summer and living the life of an adult can get stressful and your life can start to feel like it’s becoming a zoo, kind of like mine did this summer actually working at the Detroit Zoo.
Over the summer I worked as a public relations intern at the Detroit Zoological Society and had a blast while gaining an overwhelming amount of experience and knowledge of the PR field. However, the life of an unpaid intern can be stressful. Since my internship was unpaid, I used my free time to work a part-time job. It was pretty stressful at times, but here are a few fun things that kept me enjoying my time at the Detroit Zoo.
When working a stressful internship that is a lot of work, maybe even unpaid as in my case, I learned that it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity and perk that comes out of your hard work. I went to all the Zoo events to make sure I got as much experience to boost my resume and get a great recommendation from my supervisor for the future. I attended Sunset at the Zoo, the biggest event of the summer, and had fun with my fellow interns. I also attended 5K walks/runs that the Zoo held which allowed me to walk around the Zoo and meet tons of new people.
Speaking of meeting new people, all though the job kept me busy, the number of networking connections I gained was well worth the unpaid work. I worked with professional journalist from local television stations and networks and organized media visits to the Zoo. Not only did I get to meet a bunch of great professionals, but also I got to enjoy most of my summer days walking around the Zoo and being around the animals.
Enjoying the animals was obviously one of my favorite perks about working at the Detroit Zoo. Working on press releases and creating new content for the main website gave me the opportunity to meet the zookeepers and ask them about the animals. Although the writing projects piled up and got stressful, it was nice to learn about all the animals and the lives of those who take care of them.
No matter how busy or stressful a summer internship can get, I learned that it is important to make the best of it and get as much exposure and experience as you possibly can and enjoy the perks that come along with it.