Friday, June 7, 2013
Go Wild to Get Credit
My experience started, as most stories do, with an inciting incident. In my case, I needed a class to meet my concentration (marketing management) requirements. The problem: the spring schedule did not have a single class that would satisfy the requirement. Not one. So, I could either postpone graduation until the fall, or look into this “Get Academic Credit for your Internship!” email that I had been getting on a recurring basis for the past two years. I chose the latter. I had recently attained an internship with the marketing and graphics department at the ABQ BioPark. It was fun, and I was learning a lot in my limited hours there. So, why not get credit for the fun I was having? Why not add a few hours (10 per week) to my school schedule and call it a degree? My supervisor was happy, my graduation checklist was satisfied, and I was on my way to a cap and gown.
In my 160 hours at the BioPark, I moved alligators, saw an orangutan ultrasound, watched an elephant channel its inner Picasso, and fed a polar bear a peanut. I found out how and why we are saving the Silvery minnow, and I made a video to hopefully help other people understand too. I shot videos, edited videos, wrote press releases, designed banners and posters, researched crises, wrote crisis communication plans, and attended important meetings with head honchos. My favorite thing: I got to be a part of the welcome party for a then two-week old Chopper, our baby white rhino. Internships don’t have to be getting coffee and sorting mail. Mine wasn’t. I got three graduate concentration credits for having fun, learning things I needed to learn before I graduated, and adding things to my personal portfolio in the process. It was an intensely rewarding experience, and I would recommend it to anyone at Anderson.
Sean Anderson graduated from Anderson with his BBA in marketing.