Get to know our interns - Becca, Erika, and Angela!
Did you know that NAMEPA offers an immersive internship program for high school and college students to Save Our Seas? Our interns gain experience in environmental education, marine policy, the maritime industry, marketing, non-profit management, and more!
Check out what our summer 2018 interns said about their experience!
Please describe your academic background.
Erika: I am a rising Junior at Skidmore College, pursuing my bachelor of arts with a major in International Affairs and a double minor in Environmental Studies and French.
Becca: I am a rising Senior at the George Washington University, studying International Affairs with a concentration in International Environmental Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs.
Angela: I am a rising Freshman at the American University, studying International Affairs with a minor in American Studies in the School of International Service and College of Arts and Sciences.
What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
Erika: I hope to pursue a higher degree in Environmental policy and eventually work to better international environmental policy and further the widespread understanding of the applicable uses of sustainable energy in our society.
Becca: My ultimate career goal is to work as a Foreign Affairs Analyst for an ocean conservation organization or the United Nations with their Global Ocean Regime work. In 5 years, I hope to be working towards my Masters degree to in Ocean policy and Sustainability, after gaining more hands-on experience in the workforce.
Angela: In 5 years I hope to be working in the government in some capacity, hopefully in national security and foreign policy. Potential careers could include working for the U.S. Department of State or Homeland Security.
Why did you apply to intern with NAMEPA? What skills were you hoping to gain?
Erika: I applied to NAMEPA in the hopes of expanding my practical experience in the environmental field, as well as gain knowledge of the marine environment- a subject I had not previously studied. NAMEPA’s active participation in community projects and outreach also caught my interest, as someone who is hoping to work in environmental policy. I hoped to gain skills in effectively communicating the importance of protecting the environment to local citizens.
Becca: I applied to intern with NAMEPA because I had several previous internships working in the policy realm with federal and state legislative offices. But I had yet to work in an office that focused on ocean conservation work, which is my true passion. I wanted to learn more about the day to day challenges an office in this field faces. I also wanted to learn how an organization like NAMEPA engages with the public to help educate people about the importance of our oceans.
Angela: NAMEPA’s mission is unique and very important both to myself, and on the global scale. I had always had an interest in environmental conservation, and when this opportunity presented itself to me, I thought it would be a great way to spend my summer gaining more office experience.
Please describe your favorite part of your internship.
Erika: Drafting lesson plans and educational PowerPoints was my favorite part of this internship. Knowing that I had created tools that would be utilized by educators and students internationally gave me a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, particularly because of the part my materials have and will play in educating students worldwide about the marine environment.
Becca: My favorite part of the internship was actually my first week. I worked with Nina Quaratella, our Education and Outreach Manager, at the annual Ocean Week on Capitol Hill hosted in Washington DC. During this week, we were able to hear from policy and education experts working to protect our oceans. It was the first time I was able to interact with so many professionals who share the same marine passions as me, all while representing NAMEPA on a national scale.
Angela: Towards the end of my internship, I had compiled a list of attractions and restaurants in the Fairfield County/ New York City area for the Shipping Insight website. By doing this, I had utilized skills on InDesign I learned in high school, and made a visually pleasing and user friendly web page for visitors to use while they are at the convention. I enjoyed both exploring the area virtually, and graphically displaying the information I had found.
How will you continue to involve yourself in the protection of the marine environment?
Erika: Moving forward, I am looking to continue to advocate for environmental protection through my education in international affairs and environmental studies. In learning more about how important the marine environment is to the health of the planet as a whole, I hope to continue to share that information with my peers as well as use that information in my future career.
Becca: I will continue my work to protect marine environments by continuing my education and work into the field of international marine policy. I will also implement some of the lessons that NAMEPA has taught me about the everyday choices I can make to protect my oceans. On my way to buy a micro-beadless face cleaner and a reusable straw right now!
Angela: Being involved with NAMEPA has made me more interested in the political side of the business. Hopefully now, I will find means to advocate for sensible environmental protection legislation in Washington, D.C.
Has your perception of the marine environment changed since you started with NAMEPA?
Erika: Though I was aware about the importance of protecting the marine environment, I was not aware of many of the reasons why. I leave this internship with a more in depth understand of both how to protect marine environments and what the potential consequences could be if change is not made.
Angela: Throughout my involvement in NAMEPA, I have certainly become more aware of the laws, and the business of the shipping industry but how important conservation is to me has not changed. I still want to advocate for cleaner oceans, and safe seafaring.