Biology major pursues hydroponics internship at Epcot
By Maddie Cordeiro ’19
Biology major Micaela Griffin ’19 spent the fall 2018 semester exploring her interest in plant science through a professional internship at Living With the Land, an agricultural attraction at Walt Disney World’s Epcot.
Griffin’s involvement with Salve’s hydroponics lab sparked her interest in learning more about how hydroponic methods of growth are used on a larger scale. Taking advantage of her overloaded credits, she accepted a semester-long plant science internship at Epcot.
“By taking the fall 2018 semester off from classes, I was able to pursue this internship opportunity and still graduate on time with the rest of my class,” Griffin said.
Griffin said her coursework piqued her interest in plant science, and her involvement on the executive board of the hydroponics lab gave her the hands-on skills necessary for her internship experience.
“When I came across the plant science internship, it seemed like the perfect fit for me,” Griffin said. “I would be able to learn more about how different hydroponic techniques are used on a larger scale, while also learning how to effectively educate the public about hydroponics.”
One of Griffin’s favorite aspects of her internship experience was leading the “Behind the Seeds” tour. She has guided hundreds of visitors from around the world through a 75-minute tour of Disney’s hydroponics lab. “I have learned to personalize each tour depending on my audience, as explaining hydroponics to a group of second graders is a very different approach than explaining it to a group of home gardeners,” she said.
Griffin’s goal was to gain further skills in agricultural sciences, communication and networking throughout her internship experience. “I hope to learn more about innovative growing methods that can be used to grow plants hydroponically and which plants grow most effectively in the various systems through hands on experience,” she said.
She is also excited to have the opportunity to network and build relationships with others in her field. “As I am just beginning to explore potential career opportunities for the future, I hope this internship allows me to connect with people who have similar interests but may work in a variety of fields within the company,” Griffin said.
As she prepares to graduate, Griffin plans to work as a research technician in order to gain more experience, while her ultimate career goal is to eventually become a biology professor at a university.