Tom Marlow, Class of 2009

  1.  Where are or did you intern? Briefly, what does/did your internship entail?
    I interned in Chicago at the National Parks Conservation Association through a conservation internship program organized by the Associated Colleges of Illinois.  As an intern with the NPCA I performed a variety of duties.  My main project was research that was a part of a strategic action plan the NPCA was putting together for the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  This included online research as well as interviews and meetings.  Other duties ranged from helping with social media campaigns to organizing volunteers and taking pictures at the America's Great Outdoors meeting in Minneapolis.

  2. What aspects of your internship do/did you enjoy most? Find most challenging?
    The best part about working at the NPCA was the variety of the work. Everyday presented new challenges and opportunities to learn.  I had a major project that I worked on daily when I had time, but I also was given the opportunity to participate in other projects as they arose. No two days were the same.  This both added to the excitement of the job and presented a challenge as new duties were given while deadlines remained the same.  Overall, it was a very rewarding experience.  I learned a ton about being in an office and a non-profit organization.

  3. How does/did your internship relate to what you have been studying at Illinois Wesleyan?
    Working for one of the nation's largest conservation organizations really gave me a new perspective and understanding on a lot of the issues covered in my classes at IWU.  Being able to see from the inside how organizations such as the NPCA operate, really helped me grasp the role they play in policy decisions as well as the stances they take on these issues.  It was eye-opening and added a new layer of meaning to my studies.

  4. Has your internship given you any insight into what you would like to do upon graduating from Illinois Wesleyan?
    Prior to taking this internship, working in the field of conservation or for a non-profit was not something I had even considered.  However, being at the NPCA revealed a large and diverse career pathway that has significantly altered my views.  I  now see that there are so many more options available than I had previously thought, while at the same time I've been able to narrow down the direction I would like to go.   My internship with the NPCA has been a significant pivot point in my approach to searching for a  post-graduation career.

  5. What advice, if any, would you give to Political Science majors looking for, or even just considering, an internship?
    I would definitely recommend taking an internship of any kind.  It is totally worth it on a number of levels. It looks good on a resume, you meet tons of people who may be able to help after graduation and if you're like me it may show you a career path you had no idea existed. I'd say if you aren't too picky while choosing an internship and enter with an open mind, you will be rewarded.