Advice for potential interns…

We’re starting to get applications in which is very very exciting.  But we’re still short interns and applications!  So if you’ve been considering it… go ahead, make the leap.  In the meantime, I thought I’d post an e-mail that I recently sent out to a few interested students.  It goes over everything we’re looking for in an application, and might help you in the future when putting together application packets for internships, jobs, schools, etc.

Here it is:

Application Materials to Include:

  • Resume or CV
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
    • Job experience, volunteer experience, education, contact info
    • In your resumes be sure to also include any skills you have that are pertinent for this internship (you could nudge this to the cover letter instead… either works)
      • Time spent on the water, kayaking, boating, swimming.
      • Computer skills you may have
      • Outdoor experience (including camping, backpacking, hiking, gardening, fishing, etc.)
    • If you don’t have references already included on your resume please add them
      • References can be teachers, employers, mentors, but please refrain from putting your friends down (I’ve been there…. I understand… but it’s better to put fewer GOOD references, than a lot of silly ones)
      • If you don’t have any references, let me know why- I’m not going to hold it against you if you’re no longer in contact with your old boss, even though she loved you. Or if your favorite professor is on sabbatical and can’t be reached. Just let me know! References can be phone numbers or email addresses.
    • Not having experience does NOT disqualify you from interning with us- the MOST important qualities you can have are enthusiasm, adaptability, and tenacity.  We will be living on an island, kayaking in the ocean, skiffing around Southeast Alaska in small zodiacs, and if all goes well watching dozens and dozens of whales at all hours of day and night- it’s hard amazing work.
  • Cover Letter
    • If you can’t find a place on your resume, include information in your cover letter regarding:
      • Time spent working in close quarters
      • An event where you may have had to solve a problem on the fly
      • A situation which required you to be adaptable
      • What you hope to gain from this experience
      • How you think you’ll be an asset to our team at the lighthouse
    • If you can only intern at a specific time please include that in your cover letter so I can adjust accordingly
    • Things break in the field.  We won’t be able to go to the store to fix them.  I’m going to need your brain power to problem solve with me.
  • Interviews
    • I would like to start interviewing applicants around the holidays.  I hope to have decisions made in February (possibly earlier).

I’m happy to answer any questions you have about this process.  You can always email me if you have more specific questions, or if you just want to say hi.  I know for some of you this could be the first time you head out to do field work, I’ll happily help you along if you’d like.  Other of you may have done this a million times, so you know the kind of questions you need to ask!

Lastly, we have 9 spots up for grabs!  That’s a lot of interns, so don’t let shyness or feeling overwhelmed prevent you from applying.  Last year’s interns came from a wide swath of backgrounds- some had field experience, some did not.  One had never set foot in Alaska, while another had never seen a whale despite living her whole life there.  I’ll try to keep in touch as things come up and let you know what direction things are headed! Currently I’m looking into buying playback speakers so we can transmit social calls into the ocean and see how the whales respond.  Sound like fun?  Keep in touch.




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