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On Interning at Island Press: The 7:30 Alarm

Photo by Brett VA on Flickr. Photo by Brett VA on Flickr.

In this installment, Development Intern Colby Shuler talks about what gets him out of bed in the morning.

The buzz of a 7:30 AM alarm is on principal, not the way that I usually try to begin my day. I have never been and will never be a morning person, yet somehow, three days a week I am able to drag myself into the shower, throw on some cloths and make it out to the bus. Yet even when facing the arctic wind from another polar vortex, I always have a smile on my face by the time the bus comes. Because no matter how early I have to wake up or how long and cold the DC winter may be, once I arrive at my internship at Island Press, I know my day will make a turn for the better. Island Press is an organization unlike any other that I have encountered in my time in DC. Having previously worked in development, I expected to be doing two tasks: data entry and stuffing envelopes. While I have done my fair share of the menial office tasks, the vast majority of my time has been spent researching, learning about philanthropy and donor cultivation, providing input at development team meetings and working with Island Press’s new and dynamic Conservation Finance Network. In one day at Island Press I could be writing a report on a new foundation, helping to update and design the Conservation Finance Network website and meet with the members of the development team to discuss the content of a new letter to donors. Besides all of the work that I am doing at Island Press, what I really love about interning at Island Press are the people. When I am at work I never feel like just another intern, but an actual member of the team. Not only is everyone friendly and genuinely interested in any ideas that you have to offer, but they also have a huge array of knowledge and experience between them. At the Island Press office you can find experts on subjects ranging from publishing to sustainable urban planning and from marketing to conservation finance. My generation of interns and students are preparing to enter a world that has inherited a host of environmental problems that are becoming too severe to ignore. Working at Island Press is being a part of a team of people who are dedicated to spreading information and finding answers to our most critical environmental problems. Being an intern here means not only gaining career experience, but also learning about and helping contribute to solutions to the environmental problems that will soon be ours to fix. Interning at Island Press has been more than I expected. I have been able to work on interesting and independent projects, with a great group of people and for causes that are both essential and imperative. So now if you ever see me early in the morning, waiting for the N4 metro bus in frigid temperatures with a smile on my face, you’ll know that I am not crazy, I’m just going to work.