What It’s Like to Intern at the Texas State Aquarium

“Our whole mission here is to inspire people – we want them to leave realizing the importance of conservation.”

By Alex DailyAugust 8, 2016 10:18 am| ,

While many of us use the summer as an opportunity to plan family vacations or special trips, some college students spend their break at an internship. Colleges increasingly require this extracurricular learning for degree plans, and they’re a great way to get a potential career started. This week, we’re telling the stories of interns around the state who chose to work in places you may not have heard of.

For Jena Floyd, a recent graduate of Texas A&M University, her fish and herpetology summer internship at Corpus Christi’s Texas State Aquarium led to a part-time job as a husbandry, or animal care, assistant. 

“The first thing we do is open some of the exhibits that need more maintenance in the morning, we also take water samples of all of the exhibits,” Floyd says. “And then after that, we’ll start preparing all the diets in the kitchen, chopping up fish (and) vegetables.”

Floyd says you don’t really expect fish to have personalities, but over time you start to see them in a different light.

“When you feed something every day you’ll notice things like – this eel mainly likes to eat shrimp, or – this one will steal food from other fish.”

Spending so much time around these animals gives employees the sense that workers are crucial to their survival, and that keeps them working hard to promote the aquarium’s mission.

“Our whole mission here is to inspire people – we want them to leave realizing the importance of conservation,” Floyd says. “And inspired to do something for it.”

Listen to her story in the player above.