Learning for a Greener Future: Week 6
Jul 27

Learning for a Greener Future: Week 6

By Jacob Herrup, Intern Leader

The Learning for a Greener Future internship is a six-week program offered by Phipps to Pittsburgh-area high school students. Jacob Herrup completed the internship last summer and has returned this year as the Intern Leader. In this blog he will document the interns’ weekly experiences and add in a few interesting facts along the way!

As the internship comes to an end us interns focused again on application of our learned skills and personal traits in real jobs and future career pursuits. We started the week with me giving a lesson on the college process based on my experience, and what you should prioritize going into it through your junior and senior year. This was greatly supplemented by Aaron and Doreen, previous high school interns, who came to give us advice based on their experiences in college itself. In this last week we also focused a lot on etiquette of applying for jobs, anything from sending e-mails to employers, to forming our own resumes, the latter of which was done through advice given by Ashley Dean from Phipps’ Human Resources department. To top off this future-focused week, we had a speaker come in from Bidwell Training Center, a place in Pennsylvania where you can get an education for certificates in highly demanded fields in the area at no cost. It’s a great alternative for people looking to go to school or back to school, but don’t have the resources to afford a full 2 or 4 year college degree.

Despite this being our last week, that didn’t let us completely sleep on our horticultural duties. We had three full sessions of horticulture work this week, our final 1-on-1 shadow and two more horticulture group mornings. An enormous thanks again to everyone who taught us about the different parts of the conservatory and how to work with plants, both in horticulture and throughout Phipps! As a sort of send-off we had a farewell lunch with all the horticulture staff. There we practiced our presentation about the internship that we’ll later show at the Youth Garden Summit at Phipps next week. Afterwards we went through an exit interview with the program overseer Amy Troyani, giving our feedback on the internship as a whole.

The last day, aside from hort work, was really a lot of time we spent together as a group in the nature lab. Our group grew very close to each other while working together, so in a sense we did a follow-up on all the ice breakers we did at the beginning. We know each other much better now and we did activities that reflected that, and talked about everything we learned not just from our mentors and employers at Phipps, but from each other. The Youth Garden Summit at Phipps next week will be the last time we’re all together for a while, but we’ll be coming back to Phipps this winter for the exhibition of our top two photographs taken with Doug Oster. Thank you to everyone who’s checked on this blog week to week, I hope you enjoyed a bit of insight into the days youngest Phipps employees!