Monday, June 13, 2011

Internship Spotlight: Brittney

Brittney – Toronto & Region Conservation Authority

Write a communications plan? Yes, I can do that. Deliver a school program to kids? Yes, I can do that. Wait a minute... Dave and Chantal said this would happen. So far in my internship I have been able to say “yes, I can do that” to every task I’ve been given. Here in Toronto at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) I have been putting everything I learned this year to good use.
At TRCA we’re all about the water; keepin’ it clean, lettin’ it flow, and puttin’ some elbow grease into the places where water goes. Basically what all that complicated, business jargon means is that TRCA is actively working towards keeping rivers and shorelines healthy, making sure the city has greenspace and biodiversity, and building more sustainable communities. At the heart of all this hard work lies ME – a lowly intern trying to make it in the harsh Authority world! I’ve had the opportunity to get involved with a number of different projects and in doing so learned so much. I have helped in the planning of TRCA’s speaker series “Lake Ontario Evenings” which is a fun night of food, drinks, and guest speakers who know a great deal about Toronto’s water. I have also prepared a communications plan for two projects that the TRCA and partners (such as Environment Canada, DFO, and MNR, to name a few) currently have underway.
The best experience of my internship to date has definitely been the work I did at the Peel Children’s Water Festival. I was teaching children about pollination, pollution and storm drains, and most importantly, teaching them how to plant different plants along the shoreline. I must say, I loved wearing rubber boots to work every day, getting them even dirtier every day, and getting hopped up on allergy medication every day in order to be one with nature! Sounds glamorous, I know, but it truly was a great experience. I put everything that I learned in Live Programming and Presentations to good use.
It always feels good to make connections between the things I learned in school and the things I encounter each day on the job. After surviving the first six weeks of my internship I know that my year in Science Communication was of incalculable value. My placement has allowed for practice of my skills in the real world, continued growth, and proved that the $16.97 that I spent on my rubber boots was totally worth it!
Nearing the end of my time in the Science Communication program I’m feeling like it went by so fast. I enjoyed my classes, my classmates, and my professors. We’re a cozy little family and part of me is sad that we’re all moving on in our lives. Last year at this time I was terrified to head out into the working world, but after a year of Science Communication, I’m happy to say “yes, I can do that.”

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