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Internships provide vital insight into professional workspaces and give people an idea of how to function in said workspaces with other professionals in their field. Charla Replogle (B.S. 2020, Environmental Studies and Biological Sciences), was able to gain valuable professional experience that helped aid them in their graduate school ambitions.
For the past year and a half, Charla has been an invertebrate zoology intern with the Milwaukee Public Museum. As an invertebrate zoology intern, Charla has gained hands-on experience in the field of entomology. Through their internship, Charla was able to make many professional connections, learn valuable skills, gained a greater understanding of research-based science, and had the pleasure of working with people from all walks of life.
Never having had any previous internship experience or formal training in entomology, Charla was concerned that they would be ill-equipped. However, Charla found the experience to be very fruitful, stating that “everyone has been so kind. My mentor has helped me learn so much and being surrounded by other people who have just as much passion for the field as you is amazing. Developing my skills and working with other professionals has really reinforced my love of entomology.”
Through the course of their internship, Charla decided that they wanted to go to continue this type of work into graduate school. With the guidance of their mentor, they were able to connect with several researchers and find a program they felt was the perfect fit. This fall 2020, Charla will be attending Purdue University to pursue a Masters in Systematic Entomology! After getting their Masters, Charla plans on getting a Doctorate and hopes to do research at a university. “Without my internship and the guidance of Dr. Jennifer Zaspel and my other mentors at the Museum, I would be doing something much different after graduation, and I’m so happy I am doing this instead. I cannot wait to see where graduate school takes me.”
Would Charla recommend an internship as an undergraduate student? Without a doubt! “The experiences you gain through internships are invaluable. Having firsthand training in your prospective field and becoming comfortable working in a professional environment with specialists and experts is crucial.” Charla believes that internships are the best way to learn and develop lifelong professional skills that will only be of benefit in your future.
For more information about the Launch Program and the requirements to earn academic credit for your internship, contact:
Wehr Life Sciences, 109
Dr. Rosemary Stuart
Wehr Life Sciences, 309