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“Internship of a Lifetime!”- by Lanier Forster

Internships are one of the most important elements of your college career. They provide great opportunities to gain experience in your field of study, network with people, and get out and explore the many possibilities that you can do with your degree. Personally, my internship experience was the best thing to happen to me during my time at UGA. During the fall 2018 semester, I knew that I needed to find myself a summer internship because in just 12 months, I would be graduating and needed to have some experience under my belt. I was helping with an Ambassador Call Night one evening where we call all our donors and thank them for their generous support. I ended up calling an DSC_0466individual who works with the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division and we struck up a conversation. He asked me if I was considering internships and I, of course, said yes. He said why don’t you send me your resume and I’ll see if we have any openings. I sent him my resume and waited to hear back.

When he got back to me, I was delighted to hear that I would be working with public relations and the game management section of WRD. My duties would include creating content for the WRD social media sites as well as writing articles for the Georgia Wildlife Blog. I had never considered myself as a blogger, but I was excited to give it a try. Thus, began the experience that would start me down a journey that would lead to me rewriting my plan for the future. I’ve always really enjoyed research. Not necessarily the typical form of research where you perform experiments and test theories.  Rather, I really enjoy conducting the kind of literature research where you’re given a topic, and you try to learn as much as you can about that topic, then you relay that information in a concise, interesting way. This is exactly what I did during my internship. I would be given a blog idea and it would be my job to run with it and create a piece that people would enjoy IMG_4788reading. I adored my job so much that it made me realize this is exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life. I am having so much fun getting to go talk to different people, try new things, and learn through my research efforts. This was the type of job where I could combine my love of research with my passion for wildlife. This was the perfect place for me.

If I had not obtained this internship, I never would have gained from this experience and realize that I love this type of thing so much. Few rarely recognize that wildlife agencies need social media and public relations coordinators. I know I didn’t consider it until this internship. That’s why internships are so important. They give you these kind of experiences that have the potential to completely reshape what you thought you wanted to do. If you have the opportunity, take it. Start looking for internships now! You won’t regret it!

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