Miranda Furrer Internship

Miranda Furrer
Animal Ecology and Agricultural Business
Hanna City, IL (15 mi. west of Peoria)
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
Holderness, NH

Describe your internship responsibilities:

I was a Program Intern in the Education Department.  I had three different rotations during the summer, Guided Discoveries, Programs/Outreach, and Animal Care.  During Guided Discoveries, I helped teach summer camps for school aged children.  During Programs/Outreach, I went on outreach programs and helped present animals to the public.  During my Animal Care rotation, I helped take care of our animal collection and learned about what goes into taking care of animals in a semi-zoo setting.


What did you enjoy most about this internship?

I enjoyed all of my internship!  I would say that my favorite part was probably the Guided Discoveries when I got to work with kids.  It was a lot of fun!  I also liked being able to work with different species of animals such as porcupines, woodchucks, Great-horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, and many more!  It was great to educate the public about the importance of these animals and the importance of preserving our natural resources.


I really loved working at the Science Center!  The staff was great to work with and they were all very helpful and friendly to the interns.  The location was so beautiful, with Squam Lake and the White Mountains.  I loved being able to travel around New England, especially when I got to go visit Maine, Boston, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.


How has this experience impacted your future career plans?

This experience has been very beneficial to me in several ways. It made me go outside of my comfort zone.  Before I went to New Hampshire, I had never been in the Northeast so I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  It is so beautiful and I would love to live out there someday!  Through the education experience I gained, I realized that I love to teach, but maybe not all of the time.  With my double major, I want to figure out how to tie them together. I haven’t quite figured that part out yet, though. I gained valuable experience in animal care/handling and educating the public about animals & natural resources.


What resources did you utilize to obtain this internship?

I searched for internships online.  I knew that if I was going to have an internship, I wanted it to be with a zoo that was accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  I looked on the AZA website under job listings and found this internship.  I applied, had a phone interview, and then was offered the job.


What advice would you offer to other students seeking similar internships?

I would tell other students seeking in internship in the animal/wildlife field to not be afraid to try something new!  When I was looking for an internship, I wanted to try something different and in a different location.  I definitely made a good decision by going to New Hampshire.  It was probably one of the best experiences of my life.  It is important that as an undergraduate student to get a lot of experience, not just to put on your resume, but to figure out what you do and don’t like to do.  By trying something new and out of your comfort zone, you may find that you have a totally new interest that was never explored before!