Name: Nora Goldfarb
Class Year: 2023
Hometown: Franklin, TN
Internship Organization: Williamson County Animal Center
Job Title: WCAC Intern
Location: Franklin, TN
What’s happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!
This summer I have been interning for the Williamson County Animal Center primarily for the educational director, Sam, and the adoption promotion specialist, Penny. It’s fun to go between the two because both do such a wide variety of tasks and their roles are quite different. I normally help Penny with “Pet of the Week” and pick out a less popular dog to feature on the local TV station. I also help her take pictures some days of newly adoptable animals and help write attention-grabbing profiles for pet profiles. On the other hand, some days I help Sam who teaches classes to the community, runs camps, and is always coming up with new ideas to educate the community about what the shelter does and what they can do to help. As a previous volunteer, Sam has asked me to talk about my experience doing that to some of the groups and has asked me for my own ideas about what to educate about and how we can get people involved.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I applied for this internship because I genuinely enjoyed volunteering as a dog walker in high school, and I was interested to learn more about how the shelter is run.
Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?
Even though the shelter is for animals, I’ve learned a lot of valuable people skills during this internship. It’s interesting to see how so many different personalities and work styles all come together to work in the same place. It’s also been neat to work for a few different people and get such different experiences working in the same place. My experience has really emphasized how much the person you work for influences your experience despite being at the same place.
What is most rewarding about your internship?
I love getting to see any of the animals find new homes, but especially those who I wrote a profile for or helped photograph and promote. It truly feels rewarding to see those animals be adopted and to know that I played a small part in their journey. I also realized how important it is to educate the community about what the shelter does and to correct the false idea that we only take in strays and adopt out dogs and cats. WCAC actually provides many veterinary services to intake animals, free spay and neuter to any outside animal, takes in surrendered, stray, or animal control case pets, and will help place any domesticated animal in need. There is also so much going on behind the scenes as far as grants being written to secure funds, the Paw Pantry which provides pet supplies to low-income individuals, the foster coordinator always finding new fosters for hundreds of kittens, puppies, etc., pet photography and pet profile writing classes… and the list goes on. It’s been rewarding to understand how all of these roles factor into the adoption of pets, and how my small role in the shelter played a part in these inner workings and outcomes.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.