Category: Internship Site Spotlight

Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Erykah Cooke

Year 2 scholar Erykah Cooke completed her summer 2019 internship at Fordham Brokers in Lenoir County, NC. Erykah’s supervisor, Michelle Fordham, said, “Throughout her internship, Erykah participated in a professional community outreach with other businesses on behalf of Fordham Brokers. I am sure she will be a Golden LEAF and eastern NC success story!”

What do you enjoy most about your internship? What I enjoy the most about my internship is that it is a self-owned business and my supervisor is her own boss. I learned from last year’s internship experience that working for someone who is their own boss can be cumbersome when I have complaints of the work I am doing, but I gave it another try, and I love it here. I also get insight on what it is like being my own boss and the pros/cons of being able to make my own schedule and being self-employed.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome so far in my internship is that it is just me and Ms. Michelle, which means that all the work needed to keep the business afloat falls solely on us. There isn’t much room for error either when it comes to our work. How I overcome these obstacles is pacing myself through my work and making a daily schedule of what needs to be completed.

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? The self-awareness aspect of the leadership program has been particularly helpful during my internship.

How has your internship enhanced your ability to move forward in your field of study? My ability to move forward in my field of study has been enhanced by my internship because I get to see what Family and Community Services means. I see what it means to be active in the community, how important it is to meet others and to lend a helping hand.

Which professional-level skill(s) listed by your supervisor has/have proved to be the most challenging to develop? Negotiations have been the most challenging skill for me to develop, primarily because I want people to only be able to do what they can afford; however, if I don’t negotiate a high enough price that will generate revenue for the business, I won’t make any money. Selling properties is bittersweet for me. 

Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Rachel Perry

Year 3 scholar Rachel Perry is completing her summer 2019 internship at the Cradle of Forestry in America in Transylvania County, NC. Rachel’s supervisor, Stephanie Bradley, says “We are interested in Rachel helping us to connect to the local rural community and use our garden as an outreach tool.”

What do you enjoy most about your internship? I really enjoy the freedom they’ve given me. I have my own projects and spend a fair portion of my time planning and executing steps to keep those projects moving forward.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? I suppose the largest obstacle was finding where I fit with the staff. I’m a bit of an outlier in terms of my job description but I’d say the confidence and the support I’ve received from previous GLSLP experiences have allowed me to keep moving forward in both my internship and my projects.

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? The experiences from my past internships helped prepare me for this position. Last summer I had my own duties and I was expected to help with other obligations of the farm. That taught me about taking the internship on as a personal interest. In other ways, just being a part of the program helped prepare me for keeping things moving and taking things one step at a time.

How has your internship enhanced your ability to move forward in your field of study? I wanted experience working with the public this summer; however, this internship came with much more excitement, more opportunities, and more experiences than I ever anticipated. Working here has helped me pinpoint the kind of work I’d like to move into after graduation.

Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Sarah Yang

Year 3 scholar Sarah Yang is completed her summer 2019 internship at the Catawba County Science Center in Catawba County, NC. Sarah’s supervisor, Erin Graves, says “Sarah was an awesome intern for us, particularly in staffing our seasonal Flutterby butterfly habitat. She taught visitors about the life cycles of the insect, their habitat needs, and their characteristics. She also helped facilitate magical moments for our visitors by helping them entice a butterfly to land on their fingers (with the help of a sugar solution). Sarah stayed joyful and helpful, even when hot and sticky!”

What do you enjoy most about your internship? I enjoy incorporating science with fun, engaged people who are interested in learning more about how science is used in our daily lives.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? Working with butterflies was really difficult because I have a fear of butterflies, but what helped was establishing a professional relationship with them and by seeing the smiles of everyone visiting the butterfly house.

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? The GLSLP has helped me be open-minded with the challenges that come my way and be flexible with those challenges. I have learned to be accepting of change and how this can shape me to be a better person and leader.

How has your internship enhanced your ability to move forward in your field of study? This internship has helped me appreciate the sciences and how there are innovative ways to get people, especially children, to learn the sciences. It has also helped me to understand the different aspects of the science field and that there are so many paths that I can take in biology.

Which professional-level skill(s) listed by your supervisor has/have proved to be the most challenging to develop? It was difficult to create new ways for people to be interested in the exhibits that we have at the science center. I have a new appreciation for teachers because they are able to teach and come up with new things to keep the subject interesting for their students. 

Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Madison Bradburn

Year 2 scholar Madison Bradburn is completing her summer 2019 internship at Cooper Creek Trout Farm in Swain County, NC. Madison’s supervisor, Gerry Laschober, is very grateful to have her as an intern for the second summer in a row: “Trout fingerlings are very sensitive to ultraviolet light and Madison has developed a curtain that we can use to reduce their exposure to it.”

What do you enjoy most about your internship? I most enjoy how satisfying it is to watch my fish grow up. I raise 250,000 trout by hand from their eggs and getting to watch their development is amazing. My favorite parts are the hatching and the swimming up process (which is when the newborn fish fully absorb their egg sacs and learn how to swim). The better of a job I do, the more fish live and the better they grow. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that I’m doing a good job when I see all of my trout happy and healthy.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? Anxiety. Raising so many fish at once means anything can go wrong at any time. It is nerve-wracking. One wrong slip and I could damage equipment or kill some of the fish. I don’t want to hurt my fish, seeing them happy is, as I answered above, my favorite part of the internship so seeing them get hurt is my least. I’m working at the same internship site as last year and during that experience my supervisor and I made a huge mistake while working on hatching new eggs. The mistake ended up killing around 80,000 fish in one day and coming back to the site I have struggled with anxiety over causing that sort of catastrophe again. This time when we hatched eggs I was nervous and tense; redoing something that I had failed immensely at before was much harder than I’d anticipated even though Gerry assured me last year that it wasn’t my fault. What most helped me overcome my nerves was my coworkers encouraging me and Gerry being so understanding that I was nervous. When I utilized and listened to my team, I felt better and more assured with myself. This year has really taught me to not be scared and to rely on others, and hatching went perfectly this time around!

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? Communication. This last conference specifically we did a lot of exercises involving communication and I’ve found that a lot of the skills we practiced there have helped me this summer. We did one exercise involving describing shapes and colors while we were blindfolded and while I kind of felt silly at the time, a lot of the problem solving I’ve had to do this summer has reminded me of that exercise. Cooper Creek is split into five main parts: the hatchery where I work, the outside tanks, the lake, the catch-out, and the gift shop. Communicating problems across these spaces can be difficult especially considering that, due to hygiene protocols, I can’t enter certain spaces or I risk carrying in contaminates on my shoes the next time I go to the hatchery. Certain people can’t enter the hatchery for the same reason. Verbal communication is difficult when separated and surrounded by constant running water, so I’ve learned how to use hand signals to tell Gerry if the hatchery is in good condition or if it isn’t, what is wrong. It’s a very odd sort of language, but it works for us.

How has your internship enhanced your ability to move forward in your field of study? I’ve been studying the texts we have on site and comparing them to my own notes. What I want as a writer and as someone who loves science and farming is for information to be more accessible. A lot of the information we have is complicated and drawn out and, to a degree, it serves its purpose, but farming in the real world is so different from testing variables in a lab and writing at a desk. I want to be able to make a more practical guide to fish farming and being on-site has definitely helped me grasp what’s most important to communicate. I’m even learning stuff that I haven’t found in the in site text! I’m excited to add what I’m learning to the farm!

Which professional-level skill(s) listed by your supervisor has/have proved to be the most challenging to develop? Honesty. Like I said, anxiety is a big hurdle on the farm and as a result it can be hard to go to my supervisor as say “I made this mistake.” or “There’s a problem.” I don’t want things to go wrong, so sometimes when they do I can be tempted to just ignore the problems, but that’s not professional and it’s not good for my fish. Communicating failures is an essential part of not only this internship, but of any job, and it’s very stressful, but necessary. I think a good professional skill to have is being able to take feedback, even negative. It’s hard to admit you messed up, or that you were wrong, but sometimes you have to and I think that’s the professional level skill I’m really learning in this internship. Taking responsibility for mistakes may not be fun, but it’s better than letting problems fester.

Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Trente Dickens

Year 2 scholar Trente Dickens completed his summer 2019 internship at Riverside Veterinary Hospital in Nash County, NC. Trente quickly became the favorite around the office and his supervisor, Melonie Hammack, has agreed to let him stay on for the rest of the summer though his internship has ended.

What do you enjoy most about your internship? I enjoy being able to interact with many different kinds of animals as well as learning to understand the bond they have with their owners and the vet staff.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? One of my biggest obstacles was learning to trim black nails. I had an incident where I cut the nail too close, causing it to bleed excessively; however I didn’t let this hinder my confidence and continued to trim nails of sedated pets for practice.

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? I think conflict resolution has been very helpful. There are times when disagreements can come up or someone may have misheard me and I just have to remain calm and kindly come to an agreement.

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Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Victoria Elledge

Year 2 scholar Victoria Elledge is completing her summer 2019 internship at “I CAN” Pediatric Speech Therapy in Wilkes County, NC. Her supervisor, Haylee Church, says “Victoria has done awesome this whole summer. She has  really stepped up and been really independent. I’m super excited and proud of her! I hope to see her as a speech therapist one day.

What do you enjoy most about your internship? My favorite part of my internship is being able to gain experience working in my dream job and with my ideal demographic. I want to be a Speech Language Pathologist, working with children facing social determinants of health, and that is exactly the demographic I work with and job position I shadow at my internship site.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? I had to become accustomed to the work environment at my internship site. I have never worked or shadowed at a therapy clinic, so this was a completely new experience for me. To adjust to my new environment, I relied on my leadership training from the GLSLP and my drive for success.

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? I really rely on my Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI) and FIRO-B test. My results help me remember my strengths in the workplace and the areas for improvement. It also reminds me that other people are different from me and having varying needs. I think it helps me be the best intern I can be.

How has your internship enhanced your ability to move forward in your field of study? In my internship, I get countless hours of hands-on experience like assisting in speech therapy sessions, writing visit notes, assisting with speech and language with evaluations, developing care plans, and so much more. This is experience has proved to me that I love my intended career and want to keep pursuing this dream.

Which professional-level skill(s) listed by your supervisor has/have proved to be the most challenging to develop? The most difficult professional-level skill to develop is problem-solving for children with special needs or adaptations. It can be difficult to design therapy goals and session topics when children have multiple sensory, communication, occupational, and physical needs.

Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Donielle Totten

Year 2 scholar Donielle Totten is completing his summer 2019 internship at Finch Blueberry Nursery in Nash County, NC. His supervisor, Dan Finch, says “Donielle is an exemplary model of a fine young person to represent the GLSLP. He has the ability to go far.”

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome is adjusting to the type of work done here and the time it takes to complete each task with a purpose of accomplishment. I have learned to do multiple tasks, such as how to cut and stick crops, and I even managed to build a greenhouse. I really had to adjust and take in as much information as possible.

What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? The biggest aspect I have had to use from the leadership program is communication. I have had to communicate effectively in order to get work done and stay on track with everyone else.

Which professional-level skill(s) listed by your supervisor has/have proved to be the most challenging to develop? The collaboration standpoint and responsibility has been the main skill here that I’ve performed most and that is something I expected. It’s important work for a variety of people and you are handed necessary tasks that must be executed properly. That is often done by working alongside coworkers who are useful when you come across an obstacle you may not be able to tackle on your own.

How has your internship enhanced your ability to move forward in your field of study? Working at a blueberry nursery has motivated me to continue on my path of working for the environment and continuing to appreciate what nature and hard work can produce.

Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program
Center for Creative Leadership
1 Leadership Pl.
Greensboro, NC 27410

Julie Griffin | Program Director
griffinj@ccl.org
(336) 286-4412 | Fax: (336) 286- 4434

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