I began working for Washington Wild at the beginning of the summer, after being selected for one of 47 paid internships through Teens in Public Service, a program which pairs teens with nonprofits in the Seattle area.
When I found out my TIPS placement for the summer, I pictured myself grappling with blackberry vines and carving out walking trails. You see, I’m a six-time survivor of Survivor Camp (through Wilderness Awareness School), so I was prepared for anything: thorns, bugs, dirt, bring it on.
Actually, my internship turned out to be an office job, so I learned how to work indoors to make a difference in the Great Outdoors.
Instead of traversing overgrown trails, I found myself navigating byzantine lines of HTML code. Mosquitos and horseflies were replaced by web bugs that could turn an entire page into Celtic-looking hieroglyphics. Rather than avoiding wild animals, I had to look out for Washington Wild’s office dogs, Callie and Moose (who were very friendly until they tried to steal your lunch).
And as my final project, I developed a social media plan which would increase WW’s Internet presence, a presence which is crucial in the digital age. A six-week endeavor, the plan necessitated extensive research, reading other Communications & Marketing Plans, analysis of search engine traffic and pageviews, a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats) Analysis, and website design.
And I did even manage to get outdoors during my internship—to hikes in some of our campaign areas, conservation photography exhibits, and outreach events where Nick, the Outreach Intern, and I learned how to rattle off Washington Wild’s history and current campaigns in one breath.
At Washington Wild, I was able to see the forest for the trees—to focus on the future of conservation in Washington State. Because the threats to Washington’s wildlands are real and pressing: logging companies that would clear-cut old-growth forests on the Olympic Peninsula. A mining company that would drill at the base of Mount St. Helens. Just to name a few.
So thank you, Washington Wild, for a wonderful summer internship!
Amy Bearman recently completed her position as Washington Wild’s TIPS (Teens in Public Service) summer intern. She will begin her freshman year at Stanford University this fall. Hailing from Sammamish, Amy enjoys hiking, gymnastics, and Washington Wild’s office dogs.