Learning new skills and making connections with Cassandra Gauthier-Downs: Summer Student Internship  

27 Oct 2023
Environmental studies student Cassandra Gauthier-Downs was the Sustainability Research Intern with RCE Tantramar this past summer through the Experiential Learning & Career Development Internship Program at Mount Allison. 
Environmental studies student Cassandra Gauthier-Downs was the Sustainability Research Intern with RCE Tantramar this past summer.

1 — What did your day-to-day look like? 

My biggest focus this summer was developing the MtA Farm site, which is located on York St. It has been so fun to explore new ways to develop this site and make it sustainable for the community. I also spent a lot of time researching different sustainability initiatives, as well as attending and learning about new hands-on events around the community. Making connections was a big part of this internship.

2 — What did you enjoy most about your internship?

I really enjoyed meeting new people and doing new things. I worked on so many hands-on activities through this experience, including food foraging, learning how to permaculture, and building the shoreline. Learning new skills and making connections through this internship has been really exciting. 

3 — What knowledge and skills did you develop?

I took the initiative and asked to be the lead on some tasks that require more financial skills, such as grants and funding. This pushed me to learn and acquire knowledge in an area that I did not have much prior skill in. I think this will be beneficial not only in my courses, but also heading into the workforce post-graduation. 

4 — How did this internship impact your university experience?

It really pushed me to try new things and to not fear the outcome because you won't be disappointed if you just try. Every day I was blown away by the fact that this is what I did as a summer job and how many skills I learned that will allow me to excel in my university career. 

5 — What did this experience show you about potential career paths?

I still can't believe that I got paid to do something that I am so passionate about. I heard many people around me say that you shouldn’t “work” a day in your life because you should be doing something that excites you. This position really taught me that this is true. I hope to be an urban planner post graduation and I am discovering the opportunities are endless! 

6 — What have you learned about what fuels your fire?

Seeing smiles on other people's faces. This internship has allowed me to feel a sense of accomplishment and has shown me that what I am working towards is making a difference in the world. Knowing that what I am doing has an impact on the sustainability of my community makes me feel like the happiest person alive!

Learn more about student internship opportunities at Mount Allison.

This is the ECHO internship in environmental leadership and advocacy.

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