Name: Giuliana Ciotola
Type of Project: Internship
The main activities that my STEP project consisted of was taking care of animals and taking training classes. I Interned at the Ohio Wildlife Center, and my duties consisted of feeding, medicating, cleaning, and caring for orphan and adult animals at the hospital. I also participated in training classes, such as baby feeding, where I learned how to properly tube feed or use other methods of feeding for the animals.
My internship this summer transformed my understanding of myself as well as the world around me. I learned more about myself because I have always had trouble being confident that I can do certain things, such as tube feed a small baby animal. However, after feeling a bit down the first few times that I felt like I didn’t get a hang of it as fast as some other people, I finally got it and could do it much more confidently. This was important to me because it helped confirm that I am capable of helping care for animals, which is something really important to me. It showed me that even if I don’t get something as fast as other people, after awhile of practicing I am completely able to do it and be comfortable.
My perceptions of the world around me also changed with this project. I learned more about the professionals and other people in this career field, and was able to talk to some professionals that I would have been more intimidated of before coming into this project. I also learned about the other interns, and how our past experiences were different or the same based on where we went to school and other factors. I made a good friend during my project, which is an important part of my life.
One event that led to me becoming more confident in my animal care abilities was when I was finally able to tube feed an opossum. This was a bit challenging, and I felt down at first. Another intern showed me how to do it but I felt like I couldn’t catch on. After about a week, I was able to get the hang of it and figure out how to comfortably do the task and be confident in myself. This was a big moment for me as it showed me that there are many other things in the veterinary field that I am nervous about being able to do, but that when the time comes I am sure I will be able to do these things.
A relationship that led to my transformation was a friend I made with another intern. She helped encourage me a lot when I felt unsure of my abilities, and it helped me be more confident. She was also lots of fun to work with and we became friends outside of the internship, which helped me transform my views on what a job environment in animal care could mean for me.
Lastly, one of the vet technicians that I worked with a lot helped transform my views on animal care and wildlife. She always went above and beyond to care for the animals, and treated each one with high importance. She worked nonstop, but was always in a good and helpful mood. She was really open to teaching, and it helped me have a great experience and learn what type of person I would like to work with and work like in the future.
These transformations and changes matter in my future career goals, as well as my personal goals. The change of learning how to be more confident, knowing how to work hard, and learning what type of person I want to work with in the future will help me with my goals to work in animal care or veterinary care. My transformation of making friends and learning more about myself has already helped me in my life, as I am more open to taking risks working in new places and meeting new people. This internship was a great experience for not only future goals, but for me as a person today.