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Career Services

Internships and Field Placements

Lucas Dykstra ’16


Environmental Science


Holland, Mich.

Name of Business/Organization

Pringle Nature Center

Internship Position

Naturalist Intern

Give three words that sum up your internship experience.

Unpredictable, Stretching, Eye-opening

How did you learn about your internship?

“I learned about the internship initially through an email sent out by a professor. I applied for the position in the fall, but my schedule did not allow for it. I visited over the winter and asked if they were still looking for help. Turns out they were!”

Describe your internship.

“My internship as a Naturalist Intern involves setting up, leading, and assisting in programs furthering natural education for children and adults.”

What do you enjoy most about your internship? What are some of the challenges?

“I most enjoy getting to see kids in awe of the world around them. Many kids living in urban areas don’t have a lot of opportunities to get outside and experience natural spaces. It’s great hearing a kid say ‘woah!’ when they learn something new or discover a bug they’ve never seen before. Some of the challenges come from the behind the scenes things. I love getting outdoors, which is one of the reasons I chose this internship. However, there is a lot of work to be done that is not directly teaching kids or preparing programs. Those times can get a little monotonous and repetitive.”

How does your internship fit with your long-term career goals?

“It doesn’t exactly, which is something I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t accept it. I love kids, sharing knowledge, and spending time outdoors. However, having been a part of this internship for two months I don’t see myself going into environmental education. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to participate in natural education, but I don’t think it is a field I would want to be in full time.”

During your internship search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?

“Showing initiative. Simply reading a resume and seeing your work experience doesn’t give an employer a good idea of who you are and how you might fit into the position. Being willing to put in some extra effort to make yourself stand out goes a long way.”

What did you find to be the most helpful during your internship search process?

“Networking! Being able to talk to potential employers in person is vital. The more you can get to know people in an organization or field you’re interested in, the better chance you have of getting your desired position.”

Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?

“You will learn something about yourself and your future in nearly any internship. Having had three very different internships, I now have a much better idea of what career I’m looking for in the future. Don’t be scared of accepting an internship that might stretch your skills or that you feel under-qualified for. If it’s in a field that interests you, go for it!”

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    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

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    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

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    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

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    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …