My Experience as a High School Intern

Intern Jose Cuevas on the floor, teaching visitors about marine science.

Are you a high school student interested in the ocean sciences? Consider becoming a Birch Aquarium summer intern! Discover what the experience was like for former intern Jose Cuevas:

Hi, I’m Jose Cuevas. For the last few years, I’ve looked forward to this part of the year. Not only was summer just around the corner, so was the opportunity to intern at Birch Aquarium at Scripps!

For the past two summers, I’ve served as a Youth Summer Intern. What makes this experience great depends upon the person. As someone who’s always wanted to be an oceanographer, I’ve enjoyed learning about various marine species, be they local or non-native, fish or otherwise. A friend who interned alongside me enjoyed the interaction with different people throughout the day. The job duties are so variable and engaging, there’s something enjoyable for every intern.

Sharp intern: Jose Cuevas interacts with aquarium visitors.

Interning at Birch Aquarium also opens doors that will be useful to high school students. You work alongside professionals to make the experience of visiting the aquarium an interpretive joyride for visitors. You get to see behind the scenes. You learn what academic research is really all about. This year, interns will have the opportunity to take a closer look at the science of San Diego Bay.

I graduate in June and will be studying marine science at a local university. Birch Aquarium’s Youth Summer Internship program propelled me toward this career path. By granting me a baseline of knowledge and providing a rare insight into academic research, my dreams were validated and I was encouraged to pursue them.

In the words of Jacques Yves Cousteau: “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”

Interested in becoming a volunteer? To learn more, click here.

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Scripps Institution of Oceanography UC San Diego