Sam McEwan ‘13, vet tech alumna knew that at Mount Ida College, she would have the opportunity to make a difference. And, she knew, that student internships would hold her key to success. This past semester, McEwan got one step closer to her ultimate goal of specializing in aquatics through landing an internship at New England Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehab Center in Quincy, Massachusetts.

A day in the life

On a typical weekday, McEwan entered a chaotic rescue center and immediately began providing medical treatment to stranded, injured, and diseased marine animals throughout New England. On even busier days, McEwan took calls from volunteers who were trying to save hypothermic sea turtles in areas of Cape Cod known as the “death-trap” because of the peninsula’s hook-shaped geography.

“We helped the turtles begin swimming again,” stated McEwan. “In many cases, sea turtles needed to be warmed up gradually. We started them in small kiddie pools and, once they were healthy, they were released back into the ocean toward warmer waters.”

Educating the public

In addition to saving endangered species, McEwan also had the chance to educate the public about normal marine life behaviors. When she received calls about ocean animals, she was able to share her knowledge on medical treatment. From this experience, she now knows that her future lies in clinical aquatics or a similar fast-paced environment, such as an emergency animal hospital.

“This was a new experience for me that combined all four years of my hands-on classroom learning,” said McEwan. “I enjoyed getting to work with new species from loggerheads to green sea turtles to Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, which are the most endangered. I hope that I can continue to treat serious injuries for animals, while nursing them back to health – it’s what I love most about vet tech.”

Just about every resident of Boston has heard of the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist Case—the largest unsolved art theft in history. However, not everyone knows about the investigators behind the case, including one of Mount Ida’s own criminal justice alumni, Darcy Peabody ‘13.

Landing the impossible internship

In the Fall 2012, Peabody worked alongside Anthony Amore, Director of Security at the Gardner Museum, in the ongoing investigation to recover thirteen priceless works of art that were taken more than two decades ago. She was the first-ever Investigative Intern because of her “incredible work ethic and unmatched drive” as described by Amore.

“Darcy came to me in the fall 2011 to talk about her Honor Scholars project on the theft,” recalled Amore. “The following summer, she talked to me about internships and I suggested that she intern here. I knew she was the right person for the job and told human resources, ‘if you don’t choose her then I don’t want to have an intern.’”

Individualizing career paths

“Darcy has brought order to chaos and refined processes that used to be unimaginable for one person,” stated Amore. “I couldn’t make Darcy go to lunch, which is a testament to her work ethic. All of the other museum employees came to my office, looked through my glass window, and wanted my intern because she set the bar extraordinarily high.”

At the end of Darcy’s internship, she was proud that she didn’t settle for just any opportunity. She found an internship and made it her own. In researching leads, connecting data, and digging for intel, Peabody paved her way into the field of criminal justice.

“It’s important for students to get involved while on campus,” added Peabody. “If I didn’t do the Honor Scholars program, my internship probably wouldn’t have happened. This project turned into an internship and could turn into ideas for my future career.”

Mount Ida’s close proximity to Boston presents students with endless internship opportunities. In the ultimate college town, however, competition runs high, especially at Boston’s world-class hospitals. Luckily, for Herb Storey ’13, a professional studies in education alumnus from Hammonton, N.J., he had the guidance of his professors to lead the way. Last semester, he spent his days as a Child Life Intern at Franciscan Hospital for Children, one of the country’s largest rehabilitation hospitals for children and adolescents in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston.

One major, multiple possibilities

As a professional studies in education major, Storey knew that he needed field experience before graduating. But, he did not want to take the traditional path of working in a school or classroom setting. He, instead, wanted to find new ways to gain exposure to the industry, and he did just that at the Franciscan Hospital for Children.

“There are so many routes you can take, which means the career options are limitless,” said Storey. “I can work in human resources, social services, health care, education or child psychology. This experience has taught me to never take anything for granted and I owe it all to Professor Susan Donnellan and Professor Suzanne St. Germain.”

Becoming a child life intern

Storey, a first-generation college student, has never been shy to jump into new activities. He was recruited for our football team where he played for two years. Also, as an Admissions Tour Guide, Diversity Peer Leader and mentor to fellow Mustang and younger brother, Houston, he became comfortable working in a variety of settings.

“At my internship, I worked to enhance patients’ emotional, social and cognitive growth during their hospital stay,” stated Storey. “It’s not easy to live in a hospital at a young age and I enjoyed making a difference in their lives.”