Passion for Animals Drives Student’s Success during Internship
Honors College student Betty Sterling beams with a passion for animals, so she was ecstatic to take on a fitting internship opportunity with the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.
After receiving an email from the biological sciences department about an intriguing internship opportunity, the second-year commuter changed her usual course from Cuyahoga Falls to Kent toward Bay Village, about 15 miles west of Cleveland. Betty further advanced her experience with animals here as a wildlife intern.
For four full days a week, the zoology major assisted with wildlife rehabilitation, public education and animal care. Betty upheld numerous responsibilities while working with the animals, such as administering medicine, feeding, cleaning and caring for them.
“My internship wasn't really like anything I had done before, but my past experiences taught me that even if I don't have a certain skill, I can learn it,” she said.
Whether it came to her time with the Akron Zoo or the Ohio Bird Sanctuary in Mansfield, Betty’s history of volunteering helped her gain confidence in her work. She developed important skills during these opportunities such as working with education animals and interpreting animal behavior.
“Both of [these] experiences cemented my passion with animals and gave me more confidence for my future,” she said.
Betty reflected on the influence her mom had on her career, describing how she has contributed to a strong support system which encourages her to exceed expectations in her experiences.
“My mother has always been very supportive of me,” Betty said, “she drove me [to my volunteer sites] so I appreciate that because I probably wouldn’t have gotten my internship without that experience.”
As reflected in her coworkers’ comments, Betty learned and grew a lot while working her summer internship.
“It was my first internship, and I think it’s a really big deal,” she said. “I got my foot in the door in this field.”
Aside from focusing on her work and studies, Betty spends her free time volunteering with the Animal Room in the lower level of Cunningham Hall. She also participates in the Biology Club.
PHOTO CAPTION 1: Honors College student Betty Sterling holds an owl during her internship.
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