As summer comes to an end, we’re saying, “see you later” to several of our interns. We sat down with Drew Pendleton, our summer PR and communications intern thanks to the Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation, to reflect on his experience with the Freshwater Land Trust.
Q: What is the most valuable lesson you learned while interning at the Freshwater Land Trust?
My internship at the FWLT showed me how conservation efforts can really make on a community, and that making that kind of an impact takes a whole other level of passion and dedication. I was able to work with a team of people who love what they do, who know these projects inside and out and who want these projects to work, and who made them happen. Seeing that passion and dedication at work is contagious in the best way. It made me want to work harder and be better at what I do, and that’s something I’m going to carry with me for a long time.
Q: How does your experience at FWLT help you with your future career aspirations?
Working at the FWLT gave me a hands-on experience like no other when it comes to communications. It helped me become more versatile and really understand how much goes into planning and executing communication strategies, but also helped me open my mind to new ways of doing things and searching for ways to be more creative and take risks. I initially want to work in a PR agency after graduation, but my experience at the FWLT has helped me see a new side of the industry and helped me build skills that I can use in any environment.
Q: What is one memory you will always keep from your experience at the Freshwater Land Trust?
One memory that really sticks out for me is when Memorie and I did the first interview for the “20 Champions” series with Wendy. It was the first time trying out this new formula and I was still relatively new to the Land Trust, so I was still kind of nervous to sit down with Wendy. Once we sat down, though, and once we got started, it turned into this 20-plus minute conversation that really resonated with me. Seeing how far this organization had come, how much of a difference it had made and the time and dedication that everyone had pitched in to bring it there was eye-opening, to say the least.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to future communications interns at the FWLT?
Make a plan and work ahead of it. The FWLT always has something going on and things are always changing, so it’s easy to get sidetracked and go off schedule. Make a plan, know what you need to do each day, and do it. The more you can get done ahead of schedule, the easier it’ll be. Above all, though, if you’re not sure about something or there’s something you see that could be changed or you see an opportunity to do something new, don’t be afraid to throw it out there and run it by Memorie and the staff. With a small staff like this, everyone has each other’s back and wants everyone to succeed.