Rebecca Smith ’17

Major: Neuroscience
Internship: Human Resources intern at the New England Aquarium, Boston
Funding source: Wheaton Fellowship Program

An important mission: “I am very interested in recruitment, managing employee relations and ensuring equal opportunities for all employees. I visited the New England Aquarium quite often as a child. I was excited to discover the Human Resources internship role there because I truly believe the aquarium is a catalyst for global change and educating a wide range of individuals on conservation, research and the importance of ocean biodiversity.”

Varied responsibilities: “My internship included assisting with recruitment by posting jobs and observing interviews. I audited benefit packages and created employee benefit folders, maintained files and completed data entry within the aquarium’s HR database. I also conducted job description inventory for all positions.”

Diving in: “My biggest challenge was constantly learning new things. Coming from a neuroscience background with no formal education on business or nonprofit administration, I found it challenging and fun learning about Human Resources. My internship relates to my neuroscience major because of the connections and complex problems I had to solve daily. In HR an individual may be tasked with recruitment, solving a benefits and compensation issue, or ensuring employees are meeting performance regulations. These sectors do not always flow together and that reminds me of the connections I make as a neuroscience major between psychology, biology and chemistry.”

Some fun, too: “My favorite moment on the job was visiting the aquarium with my mentor. I was working really hard to meet a deadline for a specific project and after I handed it in she asked if I wanted to see the new octopus exhibit with her. It was a great opportunity to bond with my supervisor and discuss her position at the aquarium further.”

Transferable skills: “My position as a resident advisor (RA) helped me have a successful internship. As an RA you are asked to have strong interpersonal skills, create a community on your floor, and educate your residents on important issues. In HR, I regularly used those skills.”

More summer internships

Wheaton students gain essential career skills at sites throughout the country and around the world with support from internship funding. These opportunities are part of the college’s commitment to experiential learning formalized through the Wheaton Edge. Return to main page.