I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to intern here at Wolf Ridge for the past five months. The experience was part of my undergraduate studies at University of Minnesota Duluth. This internship has taught me so many things it’s going to be hard to cram them into this small post, so I’ll focus on my top three reasons.
The education I received here is top notch. From the very moment I stepped onto campus I was learning. Wolf Ridge is a place that offers so many things that you can learn from. I was blown away at the size and the scale of the operation here. Whether you want to get into research, program implementation, or teaching, this place offers all that and more. Through my experiences here I was able to sample a little bit of everything. I spent time with staff collecting data on lichens, birds, and trees. I was surprised on how much data Wolf Ridge provides to different organizations and research projects. I had the opportunity to talk with Peter Harris who has been doing groundbreaking research on Chickadees for over ten years. Other than research, I learned how to become a better educator here. Empowering students to be curious, branch out, and grow is something that takes time and a lot of practice. Wolf Ridge takes time to support and teach its educators how to be the best they can be. I learned who I was as an educator and through feedback from my peers and supervisors, I was able to find my strengths as an educator and implement them to provide the best education I can to my students.
Community is something that surrounds us everyday. It’s something that I wasn’t really planning on taking away from this internship, but it ended up providing some very positive things. Interning here means living and working with the same people day in and day out. For some this may not seem like the greatest thing in the world, but I can assure that it’s an opportunity that everyone should have at least once in their life. I was challenged and stretched as a person to be a supportive contributing member of a larger community. This is something that’s literally built in here. Our newest building, the Margaret A. Cargill Lodge focuses on building awareness of the resources that we use in our everyday lives through the Living Building Challenge. Since we teach this to children we as employees must conscious of what we use. I can honestly say I’ve changed the way I live because of this. Other than being a more conscious environmentally, the friendships I’ve made here will last a lifetime.
Growth is my third and final reason you need to intern here. This is something that’s ingrained into everything here. Looking back at my five months here I grew everyday. This place fosters growth, plain and simple. I’m a better educator, professional, and person from this place. I’m capable, confident, and informed from this place. It takes trial and error sometimes to figure things out. I was supported the entire time. I was listened to and valued which in turn brought growth. I can honestly say that this internship has set me up for a variety of skills that I will take into my next career.
This is just a small list of why I think you should intern here, but don’t take my word for it. Come and find out for yourself. Talk with the folks up here about the possibilities. They’re more than accommodating to any of your professional and personal needs. This place is truly something special.
by Peter Hastings