Movers and Shakers: Molly Guendert

My experience at the Milwaukee County Zoo and the importance of internships

By Molly Guendert

Being a college student is no walk in the park. Not only do we have to do a ton of work while in school, but then we have to worry about getting jobs after graduation to pay back all of the debt we’ve accumulated. Getting a job won’t be easy either. There are thousands of other students graduating with you, and a good amount of them are looking for a job in the same field as you. So here’s the big question: what can you do to make yourself stand out to an employer? Luckily I have the answer, internships! I was lucky enough to be the Milwaukee County Zoo’s public relations and social media intern last summer, and it was an incredible experience.

Hands on experience

Internships are a great way to get hands on experience in your field of interest. My bosses were experts in the PR field and I learned a great amount from them during my time as an intern. They taught me things such as how to write a proper news release, how to work with other professionals in the field and how news conferences function. I also got to attend meetings with them so I could get a taste of how the PR department interacted with other departments, such as the creative department and the zookeepers, at the zoo. The things that I learned from my internship are not things that could be learned in class or from a book.

Applying your skills

In addition to learning new things at my internship, I also got to apply skills I have already perfected. An example of this is that I created and maintained the zoo’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, since they did not have these. I knew more about what people would want to see on these pages than my bosses, so they gave me the freedom to post what I saw fit. In my three months at the zoo, the Facebook page I created went from zero likes to 430 likes and is still growing. Not only was this a great opportunity for the zoo, but also it was incredibly rewarding to watch the zoo’s social media presence grow.

The importance of internships

Some college students don’t realize how important internships are. According to Aramark, students who have completed at least one internship during their college time had a 60 percent better chance of landing a full-time job straight out of college than those who didn’t. Students who’ve completed two internships had a 90 percent chance, and those who held three internships had a 100 percent chance of full-time employment. Reading these numbers should encourage you to get out there and find internships, because they are great experiences that can only help you down the road!

2 Responses to “Movers and Shakers: Molly Guendert”

  • Just curious Molly, how did you find your internship with the Milwaukee zoo?

  • I’ve worked at the Milwaukee County Zoo the past 4 summers, but last spring I was looking for internships and knew the Zoo did lots of special events and worked with many different news stations to promote new animals, attractions and events.

    I asked my supervisor for the head of the PR department’s email address, then I emailed her telling her I was looking for an internship (as well as the fact that I worked at the Zoo for the last few years, which was an immediate advantage) and within a few weeks I had an interview and not too long after that my boss called and let me know I got the internship!

    I guess I lucked out in the sense that I had an amazing opportunity right at my fingertips. The Milwaukee County Zoo is very prestigious and I’m very lucky I got to intern there last summer and it was something great to add to my resume.

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