Although writing is fun for me, it is really hard to start a story about the end! While wrapping up my internship at the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum, I took some time to reflect on my experience and time spent here. I was excited to start my internship in May and my excitement continued throughout my time here. As an intern, I got to try and do new things almost every day, which made this internship challenging and exciting. I have gained invaluable experience at the museum and cannot wait to see where my next job takes me!
During my internship, I got to work with two amazing staff members, a few other interns, and numerous volunteers. Each person contributed to the museum in such a unique and positive way. It was amazing to see how our different strengths benefited the museum. This internship gave me numerous opportunities to be a part of a team and work with people on a daily basis. As a communication major, I love working with people and truly enjoy the experience each visitor brings into the museum. The guests really helped bring the museum to life. When a visitor came in who was a lifeguard on our oceanfront or a retired member of the Coast Guard, we got to hear some amazing stories and see our museum through their eyes.
This internship was somewhat out of my wheelhouse because it is not a communications internship, but it has been a great experience. I have gotten to see the inner workings of a small, local museum and how every person can help contribute to it. As a history nerd, I got to learn so much more about where I live. It was really exciting to learn about the history of lifeguards, since I was one.
Aside from all the learning I did, I also got to lead Ghost Walks. At the beginning, I was not the most confident in my public speaking skills, but the Ghost Walks gave me a great opportunity and a challenge. By leading and managing a large group, I got to sharpen my management skills while further developing my public speaking abilities. The Ghost Walks were always entertaining and different. If you ever need something to do around the Virginia Beach area, come check them out!
I also got to try my hand at blog writing, which I have come to love. The ability to share employee, intern, and volunteer stories with the public is a great way to add to the museum’s story. The blogs also gave us a time to reflect about what was happening, instead of just going through the motions. Along with the blogs, I created an education program for high school and middle school students focused on personal development. This was a really amazing experience for me because I got to do a lot of research and then create an actual program. The steps involved with planning and executing a plan are often taught in school, but never fully explored until your first job. The internship gave me opportunity after opportunity to apply what I have learned in college to the real world.
I will always remember my time here at the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum and will be forever grateful for my experience. My fellow interns taught me a lot about team work as well as history I had never explored. The volunteers shared amazing stories and were so dedicated to the museum. It was inspiring to talk to them. My internship at the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum has given me the skills and memories to be confident in my success elsewhere!