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My time at CPAWS: what I learned during my internship

I started 2017 as a college student nearing graduation, and I found myself both thrilled and nervous about the task of finding my first internship. CPAWS became my first choice, as my top priority was to gain experience working for a non-profit organization while developing my skill set in the marketing communications field. After an exciting six weeks, my internship at CPAWS is coming to an end, and it was beyond what I could have anticipated. 

In conclusion to my time spent at CPAWS, I learned a multitude of crucial lessons I will carry with me throughout my career.

• Learning never stops. College may give you the basics, but to be successful you must apply yourself and continually practice to sharpen your skills. How we communicate is constantly changing and so are the tools we use to do so. It is up to you to familiarize yourself with new software, communication tools, platforms, and anything else that could be valuable in your career.

• Effective communication in the workplace is an essential part of day-to-day tasks. Communicating openly about your workload helps balance the expectations of colleagues and your superiors as they ask you to complete work or look to you for help.

• The ability to independently multitask and prioritize projects on a daily basis becomes an essential component to any workplace. Everyone is different, but I learned that taking notes to organize my ideas and deadlines works best for me.

• Be appreciative of the feedback you receive and learn from your mistakes. For an intern, staff members are tremendous asset; don’t be shy, because they offer valuable insight and knowledge. Make the most out of your time, ask questions, take notes, and stay curious.  Never leave things to the last minute because you never know if you might need extra time. It is important to set realistic expectations when breaking down what needs to be done each day so you can support your team effectively. 

• Lastly, it is advantageous to have pride in your work. In my time spent at CPAWS, I have acquired a greater comprehension of the current state of Canada’s parks, forests, wildlife, and oceans. Nothing is better than working alongside a dedicated team.

My experience at CPAWS has been incredibly rewarding and has motivated me to continue working with ethically like-minded organizations to make the world a better place. This knowledge has taught me the importance of conservation, the deep impact CPAWS strives to make for Canada, and how the combined efforts of each individual are what ensures the future protection of our country’s iconic lands and waters, and the species which call them home.