The Intern in a Shark Onesie

As many of us know, last week was Shark Week, a highly publicized event originally created by the Discovery Channel to promote shark conservation. Recently, it has been adopted by the environmental community as a platform to discuss the various issues of sharks and their habitat. Here at Save The Bay, we took advantage of this media-crazed event to promote awareness of Bay Area sharks with a series of rather quirky “shark spottings” as well as a blog featuring the importance of shark species in the Bay.

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Rochelle dressed as a Shark in honor of Shark Week. Photo Credit: Nathaniel Downes, SF Examiner

Save The Bay is lucky enough to have a shark mascot, so our communications team conjured up a Shark Week stunt. We decided to send our shark out in public to promote sharks in San Francisco Bay. We pitched some local media and planned to post on our social media platforms. As the Outreach Volunteer, I volunteered to be the shark for our shark outing day. Little did I know, it would turn into somewhat of a publicity stunt for not only Save The Bay, but for me as well.

Overall, the entire media stunt turned out to be a huge success. Six different print media outlets came to take pictures and interview me and our Staff Scientist, Hayley Zemel. Within 24 hours, we were on the cover of the Bay Area section of the SF Chronicle and featured on San Francisco Magazine’s blog. As an intern, representing an organization I care so deeply about is a truly rewarding experience that every intern deserves to experience.

Interning at Save The Bay has provided me with invaluable experience in a non-profit, but I must admit, this Shark Week stunt gave me unexpected professional experiences. To start, I learned how to effectively articulate a story to various print media outlets, which I have not experienced before. By effectively communicating our key messages about sharks in the Bay Area, news outlets were able to share that information with the public, thus bringing more awareness to our cause.

Dressing up in a shark onesie gave me the opportunity to go out of my comfort zone and do something I normally wouldn’t do. Being challenged in the workplace can seem daunting, but thanks to this office volunteer program at Save The Bay, I felt I had enough support to carry out my mission as Spike, the Save The Bay shark mascot!

If you are looking for an amazing experience at a local environmental non-profit, you’re in luck! We are hiring now for our Fall 2014 Office Volunteer positions. As a current Office Volunteer, I can testify and say this program gives you the professional experience you wouldn’t find in a typical internship program. Aside from dressing in a shark onesie and talking to strangers, I have gained technical skills in project management practices, social media metrics, and audience engagement strategies. Plus, I’ve gained an even deeper love for this region I call home.

For more info on applying for the Office Volunteer program, click here. Priority application deadline is August 29 and positions begin in mid-September.