My internship opportunity awarded by ILF
Like many other Colorado native, I grew up learning about environmental protection during elementary school. While I cared about the environment, I was never engrossed by the subject. I had originally hoped to be placed in the US Department of Education when ILF (International Leadership Foundation) first asked about my interests. My internship at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was purely by chance, but this accidental match sparked a summer of self-reflection and professional growth. My time at the EPA taught me to find a balance between my personal and work life. Throughout the summer, I learned to maximize my time at the internship in order to finish all my assignments. On the weekends, I would spend time with my new friends and explore the city. Most importantly, though, I slowly learned to prioritize myself and know when to say “no” to plans or friends. In addition to personal growth, my internship also challenged me professionally. Every day, I was consistently given the chance to apply my education degree in the workplace. Furthermore, my supervisors created different opportunities for me to express my opinion at the management level. This was the most difficult but rewarding aspect of my internship because it exposed me to concise, public speaking skills. As the summer progressed, I was definitely able to state my ideas and present my technology lessons better and more fluidly. Overall, I am very grateful to ILF for giving me an opportunity to intern at the EPA and for my coworkers for accepting me with open arms.