Putting theory into practice with Catherine Minnaar: Summer Student Internship 

16 Jul 2023
Second-year environmental science student Catherine Minnaar is an agriculture intern at small-scale vegetable farm, Willow Farm, in Middleton, NB through the Experiential Learning & Career Development Internship Program at Mount Allison. 
Environmental science student Catherine Minnaar interning at Willow Farm.

1 — What are you enjoying most about your internship? 

I am enjoying so many aspects of my internship, but right now I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be physically active while at work. Being outside and within nature, all while getting a workout in, has been really fun. I also love the idea of working towards something meaningful and being able to see progress in the work that I am doing. Since I am working on a farm, this is visible everywhere I look. Things are growing and changing right in front of me!

2 — What is your takeaway from this experience so far? 

Working this closely with a team is something I have never done before. It has been such a positive experience to immerse myself in a caring and accepting team. Through this experience I am learning that my colleagues are there to support me and help me grow and that I do need to be able to accomplish things on my own. I am also learning a lot about gardening! 

3 — How has this internship impacted your university experience? 

Since I just finished my first year, and this is my first four-month summer, I feel fortunate to have started using my time in the summer months to its fullest potential. I think moving forward in my university career, I will take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves and try my hardest to use the time I have in my undergrad to gain experience. I really wanted to find a job this summer that was related to my degree and I am so glad to have found it. I would love to keep building my resumé through Mount Allison’s internship program in a way that will allow me to be competitive in the job market right out of university. 

4 — What has this experience shown you about potential career paths?

Before this internship, I was considering studying soil science, but I wasn’t sure it was something I wanted to do. This opportunity has solidified that this is a career I could see myself in. There is so much to learn about soil and it gets me excited to think about all the potential career paths I could take. Even though I am considering many different pathways now than I was before, I am glad to have this experience to help guide me. It has shown me that I want to continue to follow the path of agriculture practices, while maintaining a balance between physical labour and practical work.

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

I love environmental science! It is my number one passion and I feel lucky to be able to be surrounded by it every day working in this internship. In the past, I have learned a lot about the environment through theory, but to be able to practice what I am learning and put it in action has been incredible. There is something so different and visceral about seeing it firsthand through experiences and that is what keeps me going.
Learn more about student internship opportunities at Mount Allison.
The internship is funded by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) & Future NB.



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