I have now arrived back to Dickinson College after finishing my internship, and I am already back into the swing of things. However I think that it is very important for me to write a reflective closing piece about my internship experience. Firstly, I am genuinely very grateful for the fact that I could pursue this opportunity, and this was made possible by my parents’ support and the Dickinson internship grant that I received. Not only did this grant provide substantial funding for this internship that I wanted to pursue, but it also gave me a new confidence in myself and my abilities in the work place. I also think that the knowledge that there were Dickinson faculty who believed that my internship experience would be worthwhile actually made me work harder to derive all that I could from this opportunity. I arrived to Archipelagos with a determination to succeed. And I believe that my positive and motivational thinking was the key to my fruitful internship.
Over the three months at Archipelagos I was able to get involved in many different projects and areas of study. This included microplastics research – both independently and with fellow interns; marine mammal boat surveys and photography; necropsies of different marine organisms; assistance with land-based surveys and presentations about my own work. The diverse set of knowledge and skills that I gained during this time are very valuable and I know that I will apply these over my next few years at Dickinson and during other internships. Yet the most important thing that I learnt during my experience was the ability to communicate with people from different parts of the world. I was working with fellow interns from China, Australia, United Kingdom, India, and Canada, amongst others. Additionally, the directors were Greek and the supervisors arrived from different parts of Europe. Therefore I was exposed to a varied set of people who each had a different academic and social background. This difference in culture and skills could be challenging at times, but the different perspectives and ideas that are created in such a diverse organization are extremely invaluable. And after three months at Archipelagos, I am able to say that I have the ability to work alongside almost anyone from almost anywhere. I believe that this skill to communicate across cultures and different backgrounds is extremely important at this time.