Megan has been interning with Columbia Springs since this summer and has been doing wonderful things. She is about to turn 18 and is beginning to look for new and exciting employment opportunities. We wish her good luck in her next endeavor!

Below is Megan’s reflection on her time with us!

What is your favorite story or moment from your internship?

My favorite moment from my internship was volunteering with outreach at the Hooked on Nature celebration. I loved my tasks from that evening, from helping direct people to the room the venue was in to taking pictures of the auction items to share to the social media page.

I also enjoyed preparing gift bags before the actual event itself, and seeing so many people help contribute to supporting Columbia Springs. People wore amazing outfits, and the room was decorated gorgeously!

What was your biggest success or contribution to Columbia Springs? What do you feel really proud of?

My biggest contribution I believe was helping contribute to the social media pages, particularly when being able to film and edit informational videos about the river otter and the western screech owl. During my intern takeover in late August, I got to upload a weeks’ worth of informational posts about different fish and plant species.

I’m proud of how I’ve learned the structure of creating posts on an account that posts as actively as Columbia Springs. I believe I’ve gained good brainstorming skills from this experience, using my creativity as a muscle of sorts to conjure up social media post ideas, even when I was stumped initially on what to do. These skills I have learned will be very helpful later in my life as I enter college and the workforce.

What was the most surprising part of your internship experience?

I think the most surprising part of my internship experience was the fact that at 17, I have already gotten the chance to partake in an internship that aligns with what I want to pursue professionally for the rest of my life. I love researching nature and being able to share my love for it, and I’ve gotten to engage with it in this internship in so many ways.

I find myself much more connected and appreciative of nature than before I started this internship. For example, most of my interests came from oceanic species before, but now I am very attached to salmon and a variety of other species that are native to the Pacific Northwest. Helping out at the Nature Fun events and a guided walk helped me feel more connected to nature as well.

What did you learn about yourself through working at Columbia Springs? How did you change as a result of this experience?  

I learned through this experience the acknowledgement of my weaknesses and strengths in a professional setting. I learned which tasks I am better at than others, and ones I could still use improvement in. I also learned how to complete tasks for this internship in synchronicity with my schoolwork.

I think the main way I changed as a result of this experience is I know how (in a professional setting) to better conduct myself. This was my first job position I’ve had, and I believe I’ve improved in my reliability and professionalism through this experience.

Working at a small non-profit can have unique benefits and challenges. It can be very different than working at a government agency or a large “for-profit” organization!  Do you think you would like working at a small non-profit in the future?  Why or why not?

Yes, I think I would enjoy working at small nonprofits in the future! While they do require smaller budgets, I like the idea of helping contribute to other organizations who work diligently towards helping the community with not so much of an emphasis on making a profit of money.

Photo credits: Paul Peloquin