Elena Shippey '22
The location is such a beautiful spot and, for what I'm doing specifically, there are some great opportunities. At other schools, it may be difficult to get into research and fieldwork experience during undergrad, but I was able to find myself in a lab my first semester.
UNE is such a great place to be for research opportunities. There are labs for just about any interest that you may have. There may be someone who that interest of yours is their primary specialty or maybe it’s just someone who is interested in getting into the same research as you.
The [professional] staff and faculty are excited to work with students. Having newer students working together in the same environment with more experienced students is incredible. I was able to get into Carrie Byron’s marine ecology lab during my first semester. I was working right alongside seniors, graduate students, and everyone in between. I really got the experience of what it’s like to be on a team. Being the younger one in that group, I had plenty of mentors while also doing a lot of my own self-teaching with different lab techniques.
Career Services is awesome. They helped me from start to finish in terms of preparing for [internship] interviews and making sure that my resume looked good. They also helped me just reach out to people in the first place. Utilize the resources that you have because at UNE, we have some great ones. I can't imagine if I hadn’t reached out to Career Services. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am now. They've been so supportive, and I would say that they are the reason I was able to get my current position.
I’m interning at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, New Hampshire. I am a naturalist educator for the environmental day camp that the science center runs in the summer. It’s been such a blast. The camp runs for children ages four to twelve. The kids are all broken down by age group, and the camp counselors will kind of bounce around, so we'll be working with the older students one week and then with the pre-K group the next.
I can apply a lot of that knowledge [from my classes] to my lesson plans at camp. It comes up if we’re outside in the tide pools, and someone asks, “What’s this?” I can tell them more about a creature of why a rock looks a certain way. Sometimes kids ask why the rocks that are far away from the water are wet. Then I get to teach them about the tide cycles and how those play a role even in what we do throughout the day, like why we’re tide pooling at 1 p.m. and not 9 a.m. These things just surface naturally a lot of the time because the kids are so curious. I find tons of little teaching opportunities and lots of applications. It’s a lot of reworking the way I learned things to deliver them in a way that makes sense.