How was your first week as an intern?
17 June 2014: The first week as an intern really shows how this is the best job, especially as a high schooler, that you can possibly get! That first day really put 3 stories of stairs into perspective . . . but hey it’s a great free workout! All of the information and questions people ask may seem daunting, but I like to take a deep breath . . . *gasp* . . . and HAVE FUN. Nothing is greater than to have fellow employees, volunteers, and interns who all come together and help one another. It is amazing to see the eyes of people light up when you tell them cool facts about animals, because you got a chance to share what you love with someone else. One of my favorites would be telling kids at the touch tank that if they pet the horseshoe crab, they technically touched a dinosaur! Also, “Puff Daddy” Drew and “Momma Hen” Ashley are probably the best instructors, because they really care about having fun and coming together as a team! One word to describe my first week would be “memorable”. This is just the beginning of an experience that I will carry and cherish for a lifetime. I cannot wait for the next 7 weeks and hope that they never end. I dolphinitely LOVE my internship at the South Carolina Aquarium!!!
What did you think about helping with Husbandry tasks?
26 June 2014: Many times when people come to the Aquarium, they are busy admiring the beauty of the exhibits and animals. However, doing the husbandry duties really shows how much precision and dirty work goes into taking care of those animals. I find the husbandry duties to be the highlight of my already awesome day! The dirtier the duty (teehee duty…get it? Poop is involved!) the better! One of my favorites was either suntanning the turtles or cleaning the snake cages. So many steps go into sea turtle suntanning, but the turtles are just so cute that it is worth it! Cleaning snake cages is fun because you get to take out all the snakes and hold them (except Slash…)! I have a halibut of a time doing the duties.
What is your favorite part of the internship so far?
21 July 2014: My favorite part of the internship is….EVERYTHING! It is so hard to decide. If I had to choose, I would pick either wearing the sea turtle costume or blowing the minds of people about horseshoe crabs! The costume is awesome because even if some of the really smaller kids do not really understand all of the information being told to them, they can rely on the animals and costumes to be their source of entertainment. So, I like thinking I can be one of the reasons why everyone, including the tiny people, had a great day or vacation. Also, it is so easy to get people to interact with you, because who does not love a sea turtle??? I wonder how many family photo albums I will have the privilege to be in by time my internship is over. Additionally, the horseshoe crabs are so amazing because of what they are! They are so different from other animals that we learn about, and that makes it hard for ANYONE not to be amazed! Even if a guest feels like they have heard all there is to know about the animals, you can easily engage them by telling them about their blue blood, eyes, or how they have been on the earth since BEFORE DINOSAURS! I love using the fact they are predated before dinosaurs to convince people to touch them. One child around four years old clapped his hands around his shocked face and fell out on the ground when I told him that! All in all, no matter what I am doing, I am having a whale of a time at the South Carolina Aquarium!
What advice would you give future applicants?
2 August 2014: MOST IMPORTANTLY: Do not forget to have a FIN-tastic time! If this internship feels more like a chore, then you’re doing something wrong! Also, if a guest asks you a question you do not know the answer to…DO NOT FREAK! Ask the handy dandy walkie because Drew and Ashley are never wrong! Everything you learn from the Aquarium not only applies for aquarium knowledge, but also for general life and other jobs! Remember what you learn! Another tip would be to utilize your FRED powers to the full! Last but not least, know that no matter what you can always improve so do not put yourself down! Everyone has their own hidden TALONS, so find yours!!! Stay punny, my friends. Sincerely, Ham Sammy ☺ ←hey look electronic smiley Drew&Ashley!!