How did you first hear about the Bio/Diversity Project? What encouraged you to apply? What initially interested you about the internship?
Amber heard about the Bio/Diversity Project through her academic advisor.
What was the most rewarding part of the internship?
Amber found that creating genuine connections and relationships with the kids and teacher that she got to work with was the most rewarding aspect of the internship.
What was the most challenging part?
Amber’s biggest challenge was time management and making sure that she had enough time to create the quality lesson plans that she wanted, as well as balancing everything with school.
Since finishing the BDP internship, have you completed any additional internships, volunteer, or job opportunities?
Amber is currently a Professional Intern with Keep Phoenix Beautiful, a nonprofit program that operates under the city of phoenix in the Parks department
Tell us a little about your current position (e.g., what do you do, what do you like about it, how does it/doesn’t it relate to what you studied in college).
As a professional intern, she helps manage their two garden locations, helps with community/education outreach, and works with members of City Hall to help support the KPB Program. She finds it rewarding to have both indoor and outdoor experience, as her time is split between the urban gardens and composting areas and working in the mayor's office with team members doing social media outreach and graphic design.
What skills, knowledge, or connections did you gain by being an intern with The Bio/Diversity Project that helped you get to where you are today?
Amber credits the program for helping her learn time management, how to be more inclusive within STEM, and how to interact with kids and make sure that they feel comfortable, since she now works with classrooms in the Phoenix area. Learning how to communicate in a professional setting also definitely went a long way for her as she was able to brush up on the skill throughout the semester.
While The Bio/Diversity Project is an environmental science outreach program, it also aims to foster diversity and inclusion in the environmental workforce. Since being part of the program, have you had the opportunity to continue working to foster diversity and inclusivity in any way (e.g., through your job, volunteer activities, etc)? If so, please tell us how.
Amber works with schools and children with many diverse backgrounds in many unique neighborhoods through her internship.
What does it mean to be an alumni of the Bio/Diversity Project? In what ways has this internship shaped you?
The program has helped Amber learn to be more open, and she learned a lot of things she wasn't aware of before the experience.
Do you see yourself using the skills that you gained in the Bio/DIversity Project in your current position?
Amber uses her experience from the classroom in her current internship, where she is involved with schools in unique neighborhoods in the Phoenix area, teaching K-12 students from many backgrounds about sustainability and green spaces.
What would you say to someone who is considering participating in the Bio/Diversity Project?
The Project has taught her valuable lessons, both in terms in science education and inclusion, and says it’s worth the time and effort. She would do it again if she could, and Amber encourages anyone who is interested in a unique and rewarding experience to go for it and apply to the Bio/Diversity Project.
What’s next for you?
Amber is considering grad school and anticipates her current internship leading to full time position