Intern Spotlight: Kirsten Bluth
Kirsten Bluth, an American Studies Major at USU, was a F.U.N. (Fernbank Ultimate Naturalist) Education at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, Georgia during the summer of 2016. Kirsten underwent a rigorous application process and was ultimately selected for the volunteer-based program designed to help youth in the Atlanta area gain a love for history and science. “My role was to train the new volunteers on each Discovery Cart at the museum (carts that were rolled out into the plaza with items that children could interact with),” Kirsten said. “The carts had topics ranging from Sea to Space, [to] Archeology, etc. I was also to be a mentor for all F.U.N volunteers, new and returning.” Kirsten was also responsible for organizing the first ever F.U.N. summer social.
When Kirsten first considered finding an internship, she thought the process of finding an internship would be difficult and time-consuming. However, once she started the process, she discovered that “finding an internship is so much easier than I thought.”
Kirsten said that classroom experience in her coursework at USU definitely prepared her for her internship, and utilizing the knowledge obtained in class was extremely beneficial and satisfying—“I was able to gain real work place experience that the classroom experience can’t offer,” Kirsten said.
Kirsten says that her internship experience heightened her people skills—during her internship, she had the opportunity to work with all kinds of people. When asked what advice she would give to prospective interns, Kirsten said “It is 100% worth it.”
Kirsten’s take-away also benefited her in a not-so-predictable way. Although she enjoyed her intern experience, Kirsten discovered her dislike for some aspects of museum work. “I worked great with the youth volunteers but I didn’t like the office work,” Kirsten said. “I didn’t like having my own cubicle or having to sit for long periods of time. I wouldn’t have known that otherwise if I had not interned.”
Kirsten is a good example that while internships might not provide valued insight into fitting long-term careers, internships can just as easily prevent someone from jumping headfirst into an unfitting career path. Kirsten has allowed her intern experience to mold and modify her future career plans. “I have learned that I am not a desk work woman. I would rather be using my hands, working with people and using creativity than doing research or typing up reports,” Kirsten said. This type of self-discovery is invaluable; interns often emerge with a stronger sense of self.