Alba, an InterExchange Career Training USA participant from Spain, shares her experience as a Marine Conservation intern at the Ocean Conservancy in Washington, D.C.
Image courtesy of USFWS.
Why did you choose to work with InterExchange?
It was the way my employer found to be able to do an internship with them.
What were the professional goals you wanted to achieve through this program?
Improve my English language knowledge and learn much more about marine conservation.
Describe your training plan:
I have been working in different projects all related to marine conservation such as Fisheries Management, doing researches about them, analyzing data and helping create new solutions for our oceans.
In addition to the professional experience, what have you enjoyed most about working with your employer?
Working in Ocean Conservancy has given me great personal experiences, from having a better understanding of American culture and language to making many friends.
I have met a big group of really good people that besides do a great job every day to fight for the things that matters as preserve our oceans are also really nice and have been taking good care of me.
Washington D.C. is almost the world’s capital, is a very active city with many things to do, so I have truly enjoyed being here for a long time to have the opportunity of experience how it feels being a citizen in a city as important as this one.
Describe a few successes you’ve achieved during your program so far.
I have been working in a lot of assignments since I started my internship and all of them have being successful but if I have to highline some of them, I’ll say that I had to present to all Ocean Conservancy’s DC staff the work that I had been doing about Fisheries and Climate Change and the results were very good, everybody congratulated me after that. Other success could be the improvement that I have been doing regarding to statistical analyses. I started doing small data analyses and in a month from now I’ll be conducting the statistical analyses for an important and big project with lots of data and a complicated technique.
What are some of the skills that you’ve been able to develop?
One of the most valuable skills will be learn how to express myself in a foreign language. Currently, have the knowledge of speak more than one language is very important and this will be something that I will need everywhere I go, not just in my country when I came back.
Describe the cultural exchange aspects of the program:
I have been part of American holidays such as Thanks Giving, Labor Day, etc. All those holidays showed me how Americans live them.
I have been teaching Spanish classes at Ocean Conservancy almost since I arrived because I wanted people to know more about my culture and because I wanted to learn more about American culture. So we have been doing a culture exchange once a week.
What are three of the most memorable things you’ve experienced during this program?
Going to visit New York City, live in Washington D.C., working for a real, big, and effective organization such as Ocean Conservancy.
What are you looking forward to doing or experiencing during the remainder of your program?
I’m looking forward to learn even more things with the researches we are doing, and I’ll try to explore the parts of the city that I have not seen yet.
What would you tell a friend from your own country to encourage him/her to do an internship through InterExchange?
I’ll tell them that through InterExchange they’ll be able to connect with some companies or organizations they could be interested in.
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Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Ani is a fan of exploring new places through photography and the local cuisine. After earning her BFA in photography from NYU and gaining communications experience at International Planned Parenthood Federation, she joined InterExchange in 2012, and worked as the Marketing Producer until 2016.