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Hello Discovery visitors! My name is Traci Tolles, and I have just wrapped up my semester-long Development Internship at the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum (The Discovery) as a Pack Internship Grant Program participant. I learned about the Pack Internship Grant Program opportunity as a graduating senior of the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). The Program is sponsored by the Nevada Career Studio and the Associated Students of the University of Nevada.
The Pack Internship Grant Program is designed to provide paid internship opportunities for current UNR students. The program offers applications to over 40 businesses, government agencies, and non-profits, which are first screened by the Career Studio before being passed along to the participating internship organizations. Those organizations then review the candidate applications, interview a selection of students in the fall of the year prior to the spring internship. The Pack interns offered a position at a company or organization begin their internship in the spring semester of the following year.
When I first interviewed at The Discovery for the Development Internship position last fall, I didn’t know what to expect. I was concerned that as a neuroscience major applying for a business-related internship, I would get some puzzled looks, but this was not the case. I was actually told that my science background and previous experiences actually made me a desired candidate, because I had a diverse range of experiences that could be applied to a non-profit science center. It is easy to assume that you can only apply to jobs, internships, etc. that are specific to your major. But throughout the duration of this internship, I learned that knowledge acquired in the classroom can be applied to many fields of work, and I feel much closer to accomplishing my future career goals with this experience under my belt!
My duties as the Development Intern revolved around three main skills for me to learn: marketing, event coordination, and grant writing. In order to gain marketing experience, I was given the task of drafting blog posts (like this one!) for The Discovery’s website – I have since drafted 7 blogs in order to help recap past events and promote future programs. Event coordination experience went hand-in-hand with my marketing duties, as I attended 4 events at The Discovery encompassing a wide scope of topics and age groups. That gave me the experience and material I needed to write about them.
I mingled with adults at Social Science: In a Pickle; crafted with teens at Teen Science Night; let out my inner child with 1st grade students while supporting Camp Discovery; and engaged kids on the Sensory and Perception Disorders spectrum to help them enjoy the monthly Discover Your Way program! Last, but definitely not least, I learned about the multiple steps of the grant writing and application process – a crucial step in maintaining funding for The Discovery’s awesome programs. I began by researching prospective donors and foundations that may be willing to support the numerous educational programs available at The Discovery. Then I quickly worked my way from copy editing draft proposals to completing drafts of entire funding applications on my own! This was such a huge accomplishment, as I came in with no grant writing experience. And now it is one of my most transferrable skills gained from the internship.
Thank you to all of my supervisors and coworkers at The Discovery for allowing me to become part of your team! It was a memorable experience, and I could not have asked for better people to share it with!
To find out more about how you can intern at The Discovery, check out the museum internships section of our website.