Hey there! My name is Erika Dodge and I am a rising senior at Skidmore. I am an International Affairs major with a double minor in Environmental Studies and French. When I initially began my internship search for the summer, I was seeking an organization which would allow me to research and pursue my specific interests within the environmental field. As with previous summers, I applied to a number of internships but only heard back from a handful, including the Earthos Institute. I had already been familiar with this non-profit through Skidmore’s career development page on summer funded internships and, although I had planned to move away from the non-profit sector during this summer internship, it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to pursue.
The Earthos Institute is not solely an environmental organization, but rather a multi-disciplinary one which places a heavy emphasis upon co-creation (which is different from collaboration!). With professionals in public policy, landscape architecture, and environmental anthropology/ archaeology, Earthos truly embodies the multifaceted environmental threats the world faces today. Through taking part in this internship, I was able to pursue my own research interests and contribute to a publication that Earthos plans to complete in the coming year.
I gained a significant amount of work experience from this internship, particularly because this was my first summer experiencing work in an office environment. I additionally learned a valuable basis of consciousness in the work place, in that taking care of yourself and the system around you is as important as caring for the environment and the ecosystems that surround us daily. Bringing together a number of different disciplines has also broadened my understanding of environmentalism, while helping me to narrow my academic focus as I look forward to graduate school. In these ways, working with the Earthos Institute was a truly unique and priceless experience.
However priceless the experience, the internship was still located in Somerville, Massachusetts- a good three hours from my home in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Without the special donor award I received through the Skidmore Funded Experience program, I never would have been able to afford the expenses of living in a different state which allowed me to fully complete this internship. I truly cannot stress enough how valuable this learning experience has been for me, particularly as I feel as though I am able to more confidently move forward in my studies having realized my passion for environmental and, specifically, agricultural policy.