Jack Hendricks, Luther College senior from Clarksville, Iowa, completed an internship this summer in Apple Valley, Minnesota, with the bird department of the Minnesota Zoo, working with more than 200 species of birds.
The son of Marsha Dreesman and Ace Hendricks, Jack Hendricks graduated from Clarksville Community High School in 2014. Majoring in environmental studies at Luther, Hendricks believes his summer internship with the Minnesota Zoo solidified his decision to work with birds. "This internship opened up insight to my career by giving me confidence that I want to work with birds in the future and work as a keeper and researcher," he said.
Hendricks worked with African penguins, tropical birds from the Indonesian region and South America, as well as Asian ducks. His main responsibilities included cleaning the exhibits and making sure each bird was healthy and content. Once in the morning, and afternoon for the penguins, Hendricks fed the birds and made food for the next day. He also assisted with examinations and well-being checks.
Patience and attention to detail were the two factors Hendricks felt he learned most through his internship. He explained, "Birds act as if nothing is wrong most of the time, even if they are deathly ill, [so] noticing subtle change in habit…was an important trait to develop."
Through his internship with the Minnesota Zoo, Hendricks also completed a research project with lighting, something he hopes to continue there at the zoo.
Approximately 10 percent of Luther students take an internship for academic credit each academic year. The Luther College Career Center assists students with their internship search through resume preparation, networking, online internship searches, career fairs, on-campus interviewing, and connecting the student to alumni through the college's Alumni Internship Program. Students also meet with a faculty adviser prior to the internship to create an internship learning plan which includes learning goals and assessment benchmarks.
An internship work supervisor assists in the process by writing an evaluation of the student at the end of the internship. Students also complete a self-reflection form to help finalize the learning experience.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.