Experiential learning at its best

Mount Allison students elevate their education with a variety of hands-on learning opportunities
By: Melissa Lombard

This past summer more than 60 students gained valuable experience as interns with a number of organizations on campus, in the region, and beyond. Organized through the University’s Office of Experiential Learning and Career Development, many of these opportunities are funded in part by Mount Allison alumni and friends.

Below is a snapshot of some of their summer opportunities.

MADDI POND (English)
Amp It Up Dance Studio, Reisman Internship

Opportunity: Opening a dance studio in Salisbury, NB

“The biggest thing was finding a support system around me, which the Reisman [Internship] was really good for because it gave me a mentor who really knew the economics part…It is exactly what I wanted it to be, but with a little bit of help.” — Maddi Pond

LAUREN SHAY (Sociology)
Operations and volunteer co-ordinator, Sappyfest Arts & Music Festival

Opportunity: Co-ordinating the volunteer team for a not-for-profit music festival

“This internship is really great, in particular because of how multi-faceted it is. The problem solving that it involved and working under pressure and in a fast-paced environment — it really makes you learn how to think on the fly.” — Lauren Shay

LOU DOUGLAS (Biology/sociology)
Wildlife care and environmental education, Atlantic Wildlife Institute

Opportunity: Working on the day-to-day management of the rehabilitation of wildlife and getting them ready for life back in the wild, as well as delivering educational programs

“An internship is putting a ton of hard work into something you are passionate about, but having the opportunity to be supported.” — Lou Douglas

Field work with sandpipers and shore birds, Johnson’s Mills, NB

Sara’s opportunity: Researching shorebird community ecology, looking at what shapes the shorebird community in the Northumberland Strait and Bay of Fundy

“At other universities, undergraduate students don’t get the opportunity to do this kind of intensive research. It is so enriching to have this experience.” — Sara Bellefontaine

Jana’s opportunity: Honours project on white-rumped sandpiper, which migrate to Brazil and South America to breed; on their way they stop in Johnson’s Mills, NB to fatten up before flying non-stop over the ocean

“When I put a nanotag on a bird we can track them and see where they are going, how long they are staying here and feeding, and potentially, if our towers in Brazil and South America will catch them, we can see where they are going.” — Jana Arseneault

Music teachers, Sistema NB

Opportunity: Teaching music in Sistema’s free after-school music program for kids

“Having to teach something to someone helps me understand how to do it better.” — Jarred Beckerton

“I always wanted to be a performer in music, I never saw myself teaching. This has been an eye opener for me. Teaching is a necessity to learn and I think I want to continue teaching. It’s really rewarding to see the kids grow and see what they can do.” — Sannu Lawt

Summer artists & outreach co-ordinators with the Friends of Fundy and Fundy National Park, Alma, NB

Opportunity: Creating a maker’s space and working with members of the community to make art, both in the studio and in Fundy National Park

“Having this internship and being in first-year — I have three more years to go, so I can do more internships hopefully — has really made me appreciate Mount Allison as a school much more.” — Brookie Martin

“Working with people of all ages is something I had never really done before and having a job that is so independent and so self-led. I use this natural landscape to clear my head and actually think about my own art practice and how I want to move forward in making.” — Emma Delaney

For more information about experiential learning at Mount Allison, visit mta.ca/experiential