A Postcard From: Devica Bhutani ’18

Name: Devica Bhutani
Class Year: 2018
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Minor: Dance
Hometown: Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

Internship Placement: The Franklin Institute
Job Title: Discovery Camp CIT Coordinator
Location: Philadelphia

Benjamin Franklin Statue 1

Discovery Camp at the Franklin Institute is a 12-week day camp for children. Ages range from pre-K campers to ninth graders. This camp promotes curiosity in the sciences, as it takes place at one of the country’s best science museums. Each week at camp there is a different science theme;this past week was Messy Chemistry. This camp needs a plethora of personnel to run smoothly: the directors, facilitators, counselors, interns, counselors in training (CITs), and more.

My role as a CIT Coordinator is to act as a supervisor for the CITs. Throughout the week, my co-worker and I create CIT schedules and provide help in the classroom. At the peak of camp, there will be nine full classrooms, and 22 CITs. In addition to scheduling the campers, I am constantly walking through the museum to check-in on the CITs to make sure they are performing their tasks. Through observations and feedback from counselors, I help create evaluations for the CITs to help them grow as people and to help them succeed throughout their time at camp. More importantly, I am there to provide them with resources if they encounter any major problems. To develop a good work relationship, I hold mid-week meetings for the CITs to get to know them, learn about their week, and to remind them of any pertinent information regarding camp. On occasion, I help in classrooms if a counselor needs a few extra hands with their campers.

I applied to this internship because I am a people person and wanted to have the opportunity to interact with people with a multitude of skills and experience. I also wanted to be in an environment filled with science and technology, but not necessarily be working in a lab, tucked away in Park Science Building, which I don’t mind working on during the school year.

So far, my favorite part of this internship has been meeting so many different people, with varying experiences, all working at a science museum. There are people who have earned master’s degrees and PhDs in science-related fields, and then people who are currently majoring in early education and special education, and people in between. Even though everyone has different experiences, we are all working at the Franklin Institute to ensure Discovery Camp runs smoothly.

I’m learning a lot of important people skills that will be immensely helpful in the future. I am learning how to hold people accountable, and how to handle a situation when they are not. I am also learning how to get people’s attention and get people to refocus — whether that be at a CIT meeting, or if I’m helping a counselor with a rowdy classroom. I am really enjoying my time at Discovery Camp at the Franklin Institute and am looking forward to the remainder of my time here.

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