by Brittney Gonzalez, ENC Communications Intern
Interning at the ENC was one of my most rewarding experiences, in many significant ways. First and foremost, I am soo extremely grateful for the ENC giving me a chance to rock at being their communications intern. I had been searching for a place to intern that aligned with my personal beliefs (preserving the environment) but that also had great culture. As soon as I met Lori Whalen, Assistant Director, also known as my mentor, I knew this would be the perfect place to gain more experience and meet amazing people.
After interning for a few weeks, I learned about the tremendous amount of involvement the ENC has with the local community. From spring and fall faires, to parenting classes, to field trips for school children and after school groups such as the girl scouts, to even the first nature preschool in our community, this non-profit has people with open minds and hearts of gold. I was given the opportunity to shadow our Naturalists, who are our educators that guide our field trips, and teach during school break camps (presidents day camp, spring break camp, summer camp etc.). They are very knowledgeable, passionate for the environment, and educate in an extremely fun and patient way for kids. I was able to write about my fun experiences with children attending camps; children can really re-inspire your imaginative and leadership skills, so I got a sense of why teachers have such a passion for teaching young minds.
I would highly recommend visiting the Environmental Nature Center, because it’s a sanctuary for native animals, plants, and is a peaceful place for anyone in the community who wants to learn more about our natural world, or who just wants to enjoy a scenic walk. Can you imagine these are only a few reasons why it was fun to work here?
Another reason I connected well with the ENC, is because I’ve always had a passion for animals, for preserving nature, and for learning. I was able to learn about and hold animals I’ve never held before. I pet a toad, and learned first hand they release water when they want to scare predators. I also got to learn about salamanders, tarantulas and snakes to name a few.
One of the last reasons I was grateful for interning here, was because not only did I get to be somewhere I am passionate about, but I was able to gain experience in the marketing and communications aspect of a non-profit. I am now moving on to pursue my Masters in Marketing at USC, with much thanks to Lori Whalen for writing me a letter of recommendation. Lori gave me the freedom to write blog posts of different themes, press releases, media alerts and even a grant proposal, with feedback for finalization before release. I was able to work with Hootsuite to plan our social media posts on our different platforms, and while planning each post, I learned about topics like what the world around us is doing to give children more immersive experiences in nature. After finishing my Masters, I plan to work for a company that has a great culture, and that is passionate about something I am passionate for—living a healthy lifestyle, and preserving nature.
Thank you Lori for giving me the opportunity to intern here, for challenging me to become an even better writer, and preparing me for my Master’s Degree. Thank you to the ENC staff for being so kind, welcoming and entertaining in the office. I’ll definitely be back to visit in the future!
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” —JFK