The South African National Biodiversity Institute’s (SANBI) latest crop of interns have just been harvested, and judging by the 3rd Annual Intern Presentation Day – it’s a good crop. The range of internship experiences presented were broad, ranging from environmental law to restoration ecology among others. Altogether fourteen interns shared their experience working at SANBI, their job descriptions and their highlights during the internship period.

Kirsten Meiring, SANBI’s first Environmental Law intern told the audience that during her internship she learnt that navigating the legal landscape was tough.

“The field is extremely broad and fragmented, but as the internship progressed it eventually started making sense,” she said, adding that it was a dream to be able to advise the minister on biodiversity policy issues.

According to Restoration Ecology intern, Janine Steytler, the knowledge gained and skills acquired throughout the internship were things that complemented and enhanced the education she obtained in the classroom.

Rinah Maluleke said one of the biggest benefits of her internship was that it gave her an ‘inside scoop’ on the industry which could not be learned in any article or classroom. “I also gained skills and knowledge just by physically being in an office and paying attention to my surroundings,” Maluleke shared.

SANBI internships ‘embedded’

The event was held on Tuesday the 10th March 2020, at SANBI’s Kirstenbosch Research Centre. The presentations by interns proved that internship programmes not only improve personal skills but also polish professionalism and provide valuable experience.

The internship programme normally runs for a one to two year time period. For many graduates, an internship programme is their first formal introduction to the world of work – as such it has a significant impact on shaping their future careers. Due to the proven benefits of internships for students fresh out of tertiary institutions, SANBI has embedded Internships into most of its programmes across the organisation.

SANBI congratulates the 2019/20 group of interns and wishes them success in their future endeavours.

Intern presentations were insightful and highlighted the contributions of SANBI staff-mentors who have developed a reputation for nurturing and training the next cohort of biodiversity professionals.

The morning was filled with exciting presentations.

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