Name: Jessica Sprando
Internship, Co-op or Research Site: Days End Farm Horse Rescue
Position Title: Intern
Major(s)/Minor(s): Pre-vet: Biology BS and Psychology BS
Expected Graduation Year: 2017
Briefly describe your internship, co-op, or research opportunity, including your day-to-day tasks, responsibilities, and assignments.
My internship at Days End Farm Horse Rescue allowed me to improve my ground handling skills, practice administering veterinary medicine, and gain a better understanding of equine psychology. Because it is a rescue, day to day tasks are not only the usual barn chores (mucking, feeding, grooming, turnout), but also taking vitals, giving medications, cold-hosing injuries, and wrapping wounds. Interns were given the responsibility of doing these tasks correctly and in a timely manner. We were also able to shadow the vet performing surgery, assessing illnesses, floating teeth, etc.
Describe the process of obtaining your internship, research, or co-op opportunity.
I used to volunteer at the farm throughout high school, and was familiar with the internship program offered. I always knew that I wanted to apply to be an intern, but was reminded of this when I saw the listing of Days End Farm Internships on the Shriver Center website. The application process included a form to fill out, multiple short answer questions, and an interview.
What have you enjoyed the most about your position or organization/company?
My favorite part of the internship was the difference that you can physically see you are making in the lives of formerly abused animals. New horses are brought in with all types of ailments caused by neglect, poor weight scores, and extreme timidity, often a sign of physical abuse. Seeing these horses happy and healthy after months of treatment, they are often unrecognizable as the horses that were brought in. Not only is there a physical transformation, but a psychological one is also tangible. The relationships that you are able to form with these animals as you learn to trust each other is truly amazing.
How do you believe you have made an impact through your work?
Throughout this internship, I was able to make a difference in the lives of abused animals by helping them on the path to recovery. Treating illnesses, providing nutritious food to re-establish ideal weight, and teaching animals that humans can be trusted are all ways in which I feel I have made an impact through my work.
What advice would you give to another student who is seeking an internship or similar experience?
Advice I would give to a student hoping to gain a similar experience is to volunteer and get yourself out there in your field of interest. By meeting people with similar interests, I was able to learn about and obtain a great internship. Volunteering is a great way to network because you gain experience in your field, as well as form relationships with people who have the same goals.
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