NORTON, Mass. - Eighteen Wheaton College student-athletes have earned fellowships this summer through the Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services that will enrich their academic experiences.
The Davis International and Porter Cleveland fellowships are just a few examples of the Wheaton Edge – a promise that every single student will receive financial support for an internship, research position or other experiential learning opportunity by the time they graduate.
Throughout the summer, the athletics department will feature the student-athletes taking part in these fellowships, including a forward from the field hockey team Emma Peterson '18.
A neuroscience major from Yarmouth, Maine, Peterson will assist veterinary surgeons and work on game capture, rehabilitation, conservation and reintroduction as an intern with the SAVE Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa.
Wheaton Athletics: Tell me a little bit about your fellowship.
Emma Peterson: This summer I will be traveling to South Africa to work with African wildlife, livestock, and domestic animals. The internship will be focused on learning about animal welfare, animal management, and veterinary science. This organization gives pre-veterinary students the chance to see how veterinary science can be used to help a variety of animals.
WA: What interested you in the fellowship?
EP: I have always loved working with animals and learning how to help them through medicine, so this internship will be a great opportunity to continue doing just that. I am also interested in African wildlife specifically because of their iconic large mammals. This experience will be a chance to learn more about these animals and how to work around them.
WA: What experiences are you hoping to gain from your fellowship?
EP: I hope to gain a lot of hands-on experience working with all sorts of different animals. I also hope to gain insight into how best to help African wildlife coexist with people.
WA: What are your career aspirations and how will this help you achieve them?
EP: My goal is to become a veterinarian, hopefully working with wildlife or large animals. My ultimate goal is to find a career where I can positively influence the lives of animals.
This experience will help me because it will give me lots of experience working with several different types of animals, which will help my chances of being accepted into veterinary school. The internship will also provide me with many opportunities to learn about other ways of working with animals that are not directly related to veterinary science, which will give me a more rounded out education.
WA: How will this experience make you a better leader at Wheaton and on your team?
EP: Since I will be in a new country for this internship, it will be a big learning experience in mastering a new area and culture. The confidence that I gain from this summer I can use to be a better leader at Wheaton and to give advice to anyone who may be interested in pursuing a similar path.
WA: Finally, why do you think these opportunities are beneficial to Wheaton students?
EP: Internships are crucial to Wheaton students' education because it gives students a chance to apply their learning from class to real-world scenarios. They help students discover what career paths fit or do not fit with their interests and strengths and are an important step in discovering where to take your education after graduation.