Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

World Wildlife Fund

Summer 2016 Site Review

Position: Coral Reef & Mangrove Conservation Intern
Student: Organismal Biology Senior

My internship with the World Wildlife Fund, titled “Coral Reef and Mangrove Conservation Intern” was incredibly inspiring. I admit that I had an exceptional experience because I applied for one position and ended up having a combined position, and was given the opportunity to work with two different groups of people. As someone who studied biology, working at WWF was interesting because all of their management strategies are grounded on science performed by their employees. I was analyzing data which was collected by a field team, and writing reports which will be used as a resource to WWF as well as to decision-makers worldwide. Knowing that my work, despite being short-term, will be a tangible resource is incredibly exciting!

The WWF office in Washington, D.C.  is very flexible in terms of the work schedule. A typical work day is from 9am to 5pm, but regardless of your seniority in the company, you can adjust to your personal needs, such as from 8am-4pm or 10am-6pm. WWF also acknowledges the need to balance your workday, so there is a gym in the building which can be used at any time. Another very popular aspect of WWF is their panda Fridays, which mean that we don’t have work every other Friday! This was integrated as part of a compressed work week. By adding some more work hours here and there throughout the week, we could have 2 days off per month and avoid transportation, electrical and resource waste by not having 500+ employees come to work those days! I would say it’s a win-win situation.

My personal responsibilities for the coral reef portion included database management (organizing data coming in from different formats from field workers into our master database), running statistical analyses of the data, writing State of the Seascape reports, performing literature reviews, and other projects assigned by the science team. For the mangrove portion, I helped organize a global mangrove conservation workshop by bringing experts together to centralize information, recognize data gaps, and identify areas for collaboration amongst organizations. I helped with the goal-setting, devising the agenda, participant travel support, logistics such as catering, and I was one of the rapporteurs during the workshop in order to help document all of the information shared which will be useful for follow-up meetings.

Finally, I would just like to add that the people working at WWF are amazing. Everyone is very observant and genuinely cares so your work will be praised and acknowledged when you did it well. I felt comfortable and had multiple people to ask for help if I needed. 

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