Ben Wasik ’17 at the Brookfield Zoo

Each summer, dozens of Macalester students pursue internships around the globe. Worthwhile though they all are, here are our picks for some of the season’s most compelling apprenticeships. See if you agree.

Who: Pietro Tardelli Canedo ’19
Major: Biology and Latin American studies
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Internship: Aquario De Ubatuba, Brazil

Daily tasks: Preparing food and feeding marine animals; observing animals in rehab; assisting visitors at touch pool tank; maintaining and cleaning tanks and aquariums, developing a personal research project

Learned: “Working so closely with such a diverse group of organisms definitely gave me a deeper understanding of their anatomy and ecology. I was surprised how willing the staff was to trust me. I even got to feed the penguins by myself and help extract blood from a shark and do an eel autopsy.”

Takeaway: A passion for marine biology

Who: Celia Heudebourg ’18
Major: International studies
Hometown: Villennes-sur-Seine, France
Internship: International New York Times, Paris office

Daily tasks: Assisting the news, business, sports, and layout editors with newsroom logistics and communications; working with the research team; sitting in on news meetings; working on an article pitch

Learned: The work she and her peers do at The Mac Weekly is not substantially different from the newsroom work of the world’s largest papers: “Our small news org is comparable to the real deal.” A harder journalistic lesson: Living through the final days of the 125-year-old Paris operation. Soon the office will be shut down and its work taken over by the newspaper’s London and Hong Kong offices. “Seeing that dynamic play out has been difficult.”

Takeaway: A strong desire to work in international journalism

Who: Ben Wasik ’17
Major: Biology
Hometown: Chicago
Internship: Brookfield Zoo, Chicago

Daily tasks: Worked alongside other staff caring for some of the zoo’s largest hoofed animals, such as camels, zebras, and antelope, including exhibit maintenance, diet preparation, and basic medical treatment. Also led zoo chats (complete with hand feeding) about Bactrian camels and did an observational project exploring why four female addax (endangered species of Saharan antelope) were pacing in their exhibit.

Learned: “Caring for hoofstock is physically difficult. Much of my time was spent raking, shoveling, pushing wheelbarrows, and lugging bales of hay in hot, humid weather and full sun. I was surprised by how much collaboration and communication is required to run the zoo effectively.”

Takeaway: An inside look at his hoped-for career in veterinary medicine, specifically zoological/wildlife medicine

Who: Rachel Ault ’18
Major: Theatre and History
Hometown: Larchmont, New York
Internship: Clear Talent Agency

Daily tasks: Assisting talent agents in a variety of ways, including sending out audition appointments for clients, setting up meetings, and preparing contracts. Clear Talent Agency clients perform in Broadway show, films, television series, national commercials, and more.

Learned: “Agents are the performers’ biggest advocates and supporters. I also learned all about how contractual negotiations work once a client books a role. And there’s not much downtime! The theater world runs at a fast pace and you’re expected to get things done as soon as possible. But it’s rewarding when you help a client book a Broadway show or a TV role.”

Takeaway:  More certainty about working in the administrative side of theater

September 5 2016

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