A Trip Through Time and Space with the Nat Geo Interns

The Geography Intern Program, Summer 2015
The Geography Intern Cohort for Summer 2015: (from left to right) Evan Applegate, Parker Ziegler, Ana Grahovac, Cristina Bauss, and Jordan Lim. Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic.

After a very eventful, humid, and exciting summer, the Geography Interns at the National Geographic Society are getting ready to say goodbye to the place they have called their “home away from school” for the past three months.

As we get ready to leave our stellar supervisors, our cozy intern office, and a seemingly unlimited number of free maps and magazines, we would like to take a moment to reflect on all we have learned and experienced in the past 12 weeks.

Ana, the social media intern, utilized cartography, storytelling, history, and science to create compelling content on our social-media sites that reach educators worldwide. Check out her article on shark sanctuaries to read about some of her favorite work.

Saving Sharks with Sanctuaries
Saving Sharks with Sanctuaries

She also learned that not all of the Society’s employees spend their hours traveling to geographically diverse places or camping for weeks at a time. It turns out there is much to be done here in Washington D.C., to support our explorers and programs around the world. You see, most of us actually work in offices, with the majority of our activity spent in a fast-paced environment, doing everything from editing magazine stories, constructing world-class maps, writing interesting bits for social media, and conducting research. Our intern workspace was our doorway to the working world—and sometimes served as a yoga studio, a buffet line, and even a dance floor.

Intern Yoga
Did you know? Stretching improves productivity! Doing some downward dog and some sun poses in our “yoga studio,” AKA intern office.

A great effort goes into running the Society and providing high-quality content for our readers and fans. Evan, the maps intern for National Geographic Magazine, learned this firsthand, as his work combines journalism, graphic design, and cartography to create maps and graphics for print and the web. See some of his cartography work featured in ‘Salvation Fish’ That Sustained Native People Now Needs Saving.

Parker, the youngest (and likely the wisest) member of our intern family, supported the creation of educational products for classroom use by providing educators with lesson plans, activities, interactive maps, and online courses to make geography a critical component of their teaching. In addition, he did a good deal of web content development to keep NatGeoEd.org up and running! Check out this new lesson plan on the Amazon he helped to create and try it out in your classroom.

Parker also quickly discovered that the Education and Children’s Media group that most of us worked with really loves spending time together! Our team loved planning parties “team-building events!” These gatherings served as excellent brainstorming sessions for developing inspirational and educational content for the kids and educators this department is working to reach.

Jordan, the curriculum intern, contributed to efforts to support geography education through grant-making, developing National Geographic’s Educator Certification program, and writing blog posts that spotlight educators who are inspiring the next generation of explorers! He is also thoroughly convinced that the interns’ future jobs will never live up to these experiences.

How many times does your boss ask you to go to the zoo for team-building exercises and a barbecue lunch?

Getting Wild at the Zoo!
Education and Children’s Media get wild at the zoo!

We had so much fun exploring all that National Geographic has to offer, and we are immensely happy that we had the opportunity to work with so many interesting and exciting people. Just ask Cristina, the National Geographic Channel intern, who used her geography expertise and prior media experience to fact-check Channel programming and ensure that viewers are getting the highest-quality content out there. Thanks to her, and the Channel group, you can look forward to something new this season. Her position at National Geographic led to many new experiences and interactions with established pros in her field.

We cannot believe that our time at National Geographic is coming to a close. It’s been an incredible adventure! If we could share one thing with the next intern cohort, we would suggest that you try anything and everything that is thrown at you by the Society, and don’t be afraid to try new things that make you uncomfortable, because chances are that you’ll learn much more about yourself than you expect! Learn more about the National Geographic Geography Intern Program and consider joining the team!

We would like to thank the National Geographic Society for taking us in as one of its own, and letting our imaginations soar (within reason, of course). We will always remember this internship!

Signing off, and wishing a wonderful adventure for those of you coming in next!

The Geography Interns, Summer 2015

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