Internships are a proven way to gain valuable work experience, as well as determine aptitude and interests. Whether paid or unpaid, they can be catalysts into full time employment. With a little creativity and an a willing mentor, an aspiring herbalist, medicine maker, product designer (anything!), can pave their own path.
A core requirement for graduation at MUIH is HRB 690, formally known as Internship. Each student must complete a minimum of 1.5 credit hours of Internship in order to graduate. A .5 credit (the minimum) internship requires at least 22.5 hours of work at the internship site, plus some time for the administrative paperwork for the school. Some students opt to do all of their hours in one internship, putting in nearly 70 hours into it in one semester (or trimester).
I have a busy full-time career, a family, and a full time graduate course load. I chose to do break up the hours into 3 unpaid internships over 3 semesters, for a .5 credit each (spoiler alert: I ended up doing an extra non-credit internship!). I was seeking out varied experiences and wanted to learn more about research, growing and cultivating plants, quality assurance, and several other topics. These internships provided my first employment in the herbal world.
While I am passionate about making products, I am advanced at product development and knew that I would be taking HRB 793, Case Studies in Herbal Product Design. I ultimately chose very different experiences that afforded me some amazing learning opportunities in areas I may not have ever had exposure.
There were numerous deliverables throughout these internships. I conducted extensive research, filled out data sheets, counted microbial colonies, developed procedures, determined cost analysis, developed Certificates of Analysis for botanical products, planned and executed herbal workshops for the public, planted, pruned, and cultivated medicinal herbs, and developed herbal monographs.
I have written posts reflecting on these experiences and provided artifacts below and in my portfolio. I chose to continue one internship as an extra internship, without academic credit, last summer. I had already committed to a different internship but felt strongly that I should continue my work with microbial testing at MUIH.
To read the about these experiences and what I learned from them please see the posts for each. Additionally, each separate internship is discussed in more detail in my academic portfolio.
Internship 1: MUIH Microbial Analysis Experiment – The Research Phase
*Internship 2 was a bonus internship. I had already committed to working at the Arboretum at that time, however I felt strongly about continuing the work I had started. I received no academic credit, however I was mentored throughout this internship and learned a great deal.
Internship 3: U.S.D.A. National Arboretum, National Herb Garden
Internship 4 MUIH Dispensary Microbial Testing
There were numerous deliverables throughout these internships. My responsibilities for the MUIH internships included inoculating specimens, counting microbial colonies, maintaining data sheets, developing procedures, determining cost analysis, developing Certificates of Analysis for botanical products,
My responsibilities at the National Arboretum included planning and executing herbal workshops for the public, planting, pruning, and cultivating medicinal herbs, and developing detailed herbal monographs. The three monographs are linked below.
MUIH Microbial Analysis Experiment Internship Part II This is the portion that I did for no academic credit and thus, is not named HRB 690.
The work contributed to a research poster in the 2018 MUIH Research Symposium. The remaining work is being presented as a research poster April 2019.