Intern Update: Using Skillsets

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 #2: Talk about something new that you have learned at your internship. Describe what you learned, how you learned it, and what it helped you understand or do at your internship.  Will you be able to use this new knowledge or skill in the future?


Danielle: While interning at the Marine Science Institute, I have learned a lot about what being a marine scientist might be like, and what goes on behind the scenes of the programs. When I did a trip out on the boat as a data collector, I learned how marine scientists figure out how many of a species are in a given area. When the kids in the class brought in a trawl, I counted and measured the fish, then recorded it in a data base. I also learned more about the life in the bay as I shadowed the classes that happen on shore. I shared the kids enthusiasm toward the marine life and was happy to help the kids learn to identify the different types of fish and invertebrates that they brought up. I am learning to identify the fish too, so I love to practice. I also learn about setup and cleanup, which is how to take out and put away the fish, and clean the buckets we put them in.

I also learned what the office work looks like. The first intern session I had I spent a lot of my time in the office cutting pamphlets and newsletters, and getting gifts ready to send to volunteers. That taught me more about how a nonprofit is run, and how much they are thankful for their volunteers. I also go the chance to see how the data that is collected in the bay is sorted and cleaned of unusable data.

I find that knowing these skills can be very useful. Right now I am working on a project for my school program that is allowing me to be at MSI as an intern. For the project, I am analyzing data from four years leading up to the El Nino, and comparing it to the last one. I realized that this can be important because the El Nino affects more than the weather.Learning the trends helps us understand more about these phenomenons.

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


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