Bufflehead Female with Ducklings (Photo by River Run Photography)

Bufflehead Female with Ducklings (Photo by River Run Photography)

Personal reflections from NCC interns

Maida Tanweer (Photo Courtesy of Maida Tanweer)

Maida Tanweer (Photo Courtesy of Maida Tanweer)

Maida Tanweer

For the four months, I had the pleasure of interning at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) as a communications/development intern. Throughout my internship, I had the opportunity to write stories, conduct interviews and do field work on NCC's properties.

Before I joined the NCC team, I was not very confident in the work I was putting out. However, with some mentorship and guidance from NCC Alberta Region’s communications manager Carys Richards, I was able to improve my storytelling skills and gain more confidence in my abilities.

The feedback I received from NCC staff pushed me to become creative with my writing style and helped me create content that would be digestible for a wide range of demographics.

Over the summer, I also had the chance to put my photography and videography skills to use by taking photos during NCC's Conservation Volunteer events. After spending months indoors, the volunteering events were a great way to connect and socialize with like-minded people.

As part of my job, I interviewed people across Alberta. One of my most memorable interviews was with the well-known archeologist Barney Reeves. During our chat, I was able to gain valuable knowledge on the rich Indigenous history of Waterton Lakes National Park and its surrounding areas.

I learned so much and met so many great people during my internship. One of the many lessons I will take away from this experience is that even the smallest acts of conservation can make the biggest differences. You do not need to plant hundreds of trees to make a difference. Doing what you can with the resources you already have is a great way to help the environment! 

Thank you to the great staff at NCC who gave me this opportunity and the Government of Canada’s Summer Work Experience program for funding my internship. I hope that my stories from the field will inspire people to get outside and make a difference.

Michaela Marchuk

Michaela Marchuk

Michaela Marchuk

My internship with NCC was, without a doubt, the best work placement I have ever had.

As an environmental science student, I was originally looking for field work up north, perhaps doing peatland surveys or tree planting. It was only by chance that I came across the conservation engagement intern position with NCC while surfing Indeed.com.

The ad described the position as a communications and public outreach placement, with heavy emphasis on writing and resource development for NCC programs. As I have always enjoyed writing and have a background in public speaking, I decided to apply for the program. That was one of the best decisions of my life.

My main role has been writing conservation-based content for our website, but the other opportunities I have received for further skill development have been countless.

During my placement, I have learned how to write national news releases, I have been involved in creating national campaigns, I have chaired multiple development team meetings, and I have participated in media interviews.

The highlight of this summer was participating in a live interview by CTV Calgary about our Big Backyard Bioblitz initiative. My superiors didn’t have to allow me to be the one interviewed, as we have a media team and I was only a summer intern. The fact that they offered me that opportunity was an immense show of trust in my abilities that I will forever be grateful for.

Another benefit of this internship was the professional connections I made. By allowing me to chair meetings, I got to engage with other NCC staff members from various departments. By being present and actively engaged at all staff meetings, I hoped to create a name for myself outside the communications department. I believe it has worked.

The final opportunity that came to me because of NCC was a full-time job. A position with the Canadian Council on Invasive Species as an outreach liaison was forwarded to all the NCC interns, and I decided to apply. I got the job.

There is no doubt that I got the job because of my experience here. The position is very similar to the work I was doing for NCC, and my supervisor, Carys Richards, gave me an excellent reference. I went into my internship with NCC with no professional experience in the environmental or communications field, and I walked out with a full-time job with another environmental non-profit in the communications department.

I am very grateful to NCC for the opportunities I received while working for them, and I would encourage anyone interested to apply for an intern position in the future. Gaining experience in various areas, along with making professional connections, is invaluable in building a career.

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