Featured Internship: Eliza Schumer

Eliza Schumer

Member of Alpha Sigma Kappa

Vice President of Scholarship for the Collegiate Panhellenic Council

What was your internship this summer?

I was a Conservation GIS Intern on the Dinokeng Game Reserve in Hammanskraal South Africa for eight weeks.

What were some of your job duties/responsibilities?

I collected primary data on mammals, birds, vegetation and human wildlife conflict on the game reserve. I then took that data and mapped the data into usable forms. My final project found roadkill hotspot areas on the tar road that runs through the game reserve.

Why this internship?

I did this internship to grow my field GIS skills and to satisfy the global internship requirement of my major. It was also a great way to develop personal skills in an environment that I was uncomfortable with.

What was the best moment of your internship?

Doing a bush walk with a cheetah and her fresh kill 15 feet away! Super scary, but super cool!

What are some skills learned from this internship?

I really grew my research skills as well as my technical GIS skills. I had to work with a completely new software called QGIS this summer.

What are some lessons learned that can be adapted to current leadership roles?

I lived with ten others international interns in a small house on the game reserve, so it really showed me how to interact with people that don’t come from the same culture as me. There was only one other American intern, so it was really cool to hear the different stories of these people who sometimes didn’t even speak the same language as me.

How did it impact you as a sorority/fraternity leader?

Since most of the other interns were not from the US I had to explain what sorority and fraternity was. I was really able to open a dialogue about how society views our organizations and to disprove the myths that arose. It was interesting to find out that people from the UK, France and Germany had an opinion about sororities and fraternities even though their countries don’t have them.