Name: Laura Klavitter
Hometown: LeClaire, Iowa
Company/Organization: Seaworld Parks and Entertainment
Location: Orlando, Florida
Describe your internship responsibilities:
My internship consisted primarily of landscape maintenance and giving daily horticulture tours to the guests at Discovery Cove. Some daily responsibilities included pruning plants throughout the park, trimming palm fronds, planting containers and hanging baskets, shaping topiaries, and maintaining the front entrance and logo.
What did you enjoy most about this internship?
Overall, I valued the mission of the company which focuses on inspiring others and creating connections through the natural world. The horticulture staff and management reflected a true sense of pride for their work, which made for a positive and constructive work environment.
My most enjoyable moments came from giving the horticulture tours. These tours allowed me the opportunity to interact with guests and share with them what I found so wonderful about Discovery Cove, the plants!
How has this experience impacted your future career plans?
By completing this internship, I now have a greater understanding of the Public Park industry, as well as an increased awareness of my potential in the career field.
What resources did you utilize to obtain this internship?
I first began my internship quest in the office of my wonderful advisor Barb Osborn. She helped me identify areas of interest and find jobs which would complement my career goals. Included in these jobs was an internship with Seaworld. To apply, I requested letters of recommendation from my professors and made contact with the Education Coordinator at Seaworld which ultimately resulted in an internship offer.
What advice would you offer to other students seeking similar internships?
I would recommend to every student, regardless of his/her major to get out there and try new things, whether it is through an internship, study abroad program, or work experience. Internships not only give insight to future career options, but also help develop valuable skills in building relationships and establishing contacts.