Patel College of Global Sustainability intern spotlight: Katie Murray, Sustainable Tourism
June 5th, 2017
"I didn't realize how quickly I could make connections and put my Sustainable Tourism degree to use in different ways," Katie Murray, a graduate student currently enrolled in the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability, wrote on the PCGS intern blog.
Murray recently held two internships through PCGS. Her first, interning with The Florida Aquarium in their wild dolphin efforts, began in January of this year and ended with the conclusion of the Spring semester. Her second, interning with Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo in marketing and guest engagement, began in January and continues on today.
"At both Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo and The Florida Aquarium I enjoyed meeting new people working in very different fields," says Murray. "With the Aquarium, my main goal was to assess the narration on-board their dolphin watch cruise to see if by the end of the cruise attitudes about sustainability and dolphin conservation had changed. My long-term goal with the Zoo was to try out something new and see how I felt about it."
The Patel College of Global Sustainability requires students to complete a Final Project
prior to graduation from the program - either an Academic Capstone Experience Internship
or a Research Project. For Murray, her internships provided the wide range of sustainability
experiences that PCGS wants all students to have.
"At The Florida Aquarium, I surveyed boat passengers both at the start of the wild dolphin cruise and at the end of the cruise as we would come back into the dock, looking to see if the narration or experience inspired visitors to make changes in their everyday life to be more sustainable.
Murray cites her biggest takeaway from interning at The Florida Aquarium as being
able to conduct research and determine what needs to be improved on the survey in
the future. She is currently continuing with Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo as her PCGS Capstone
internship until her expected graduation from USF in August.
"I had no experience in [marketing] and no real concept of what the job would entail but it ended up being a great internship and one I want to continue. I'm now considering job opportunities in marketing, particularly at tourism destinations," Murray says. "I've met a lot of great people and had a whole lot of fun!"