Intern Update: Describing MSI Culture

Summit Public Schools is a high performing charter school organization with seven schools in the Bay Area, including two high schools in Redwood City, Everest and Summit Prep, and two in San Jose, Tahoma and Rainier.  Internships are a part of their unique Expeditions program and take place during the school year and school day. They provide an invaluable opportunity for students to get some adult work world experience, explore a possible career, develop confidence and strengthen their communication skills.


During internships students are required to submit journal entries weekly to their advisors. This week I would like to share Danielle’s journal entry.


Journal Question #1: Describe the culture.  How do people act (happy, stressed, laid back, etc.) or dress?  What is the meeting culture or schedule?  How does this compare to other organizations that you know or where you have worked?  Could you see yourself in a career and at a job with this type of culture?  Why or why not?


Danielle: At the Marine Science Institute, everyone is pretty laid back. There are two different cultures that I have gotten to experience as an intern here. One is the office. In the office, it is very calm and relaxing, but also has a productive and professional atmosphere. In the room that I work in, music is often played, and it helps add a nice element to what in another company might be considered a tedious work day with everyone working silently at their desks. They are also dog friendly. Every day that I’ve been here, my supervisor’s dog is always there to greet everyone that comes in. There are others that bring their dogs to work as well, so it’s a really great addition to the culture. Having dogs around is proven to relax and de-stress people, which is great for an office space.

Another culture here is the classes. MSI teaches kids about the marine life in the bay, and these classes obviously have a different feel with them. They remind me of the field trips I had when I was younger, and brings back that excitement of getting the chance to learn outside the classroom, not that it felt like learning. The instructors bring a lot of energy with them. This make the culture more exciting form the very start. With the kids there, from varying age groups, it adds the element of being amazed by the little things. Whether that be clambering over wanting to touch the crabs of the shark, they show a lot of enthusiasm over what the teachers present to them. It can be infectious.

Wanting to be a marine biologist, I know I will end up in at least one, if not both of these positions in my future. I feel like it is a great culture here, whether I am following around a class, on the boat collecting fish data, or in the office organizing the data and doing work for the company.

Volunteer and internship opportunities are available year round.
Please visit our webpage at to find your next volunteer position! 


Marine Science Institute is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) not for profit organization
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