Past Meets Present: SkyTruth’s Gali Polichuk Chats With Intern Alums
Our new communications intern tracked down a host of previous SkyTruth interns to learn how the experience impacted their careers
Internships are a great way to get a taste of the professional world and prepare for a future career.
Personally, I was drawn to SkyTruth because I was inspired by its mission to give accessible, free data and satellite imagery to all. I also saw SkyTruth as a wonderful opportunity for professional growth. But starting an internship can be scary, exciting, intimidating, and rewarding.
To get a sense of what to expect, I tracked down a group of former interns and asked them what their SkyTruth internships meant to them.
Several bright minds have interned with SkyTruth over the years. For this article, I had the opportunity to meet Tatianna Evanisko (August 2019–June 2020), Daniel Nicholls (Sept. 2017–December 2018), Cameron Reaves (Dec. 2020–April 2021), and Breanna Xiong (Sept. 2021-May 2022) to get the scoop on their experiences as former SkyTruth interns, as well as how they got to where they are today.
Gali Polichuk: What attracted you to SkyTruth?
Daniel Nicholls: SkyTruth has a very friendly environment with people passionate about their jobs. I was attracted to them because they had a young-tech-entrepreneur atmosphere. Everyone on the staff is passionate and knowledgeable, and I felt as if I was working among giants.
Breanna Xiong: SkyTruth’s mission reminded me of when I first wanted to get involved in wildlife conservation. The organization is passion-driven, and I was inspired by its values. It was a great learning opportunity to improve my GIS skills.
Cameron Reaves: I wanted to intern for an organization where I would be able to work to protect the environment. SkyTruth stood out to me because of the environmentalist views we share. I was attracted to coding and software development, and I had the opportunity to improve those skills in this internship.
Tatianna Evanisko: I followed SkyTruth’s blog before applying, and after graduating college, I wanted to gain experience. I was inspired by their powerful mission and felt connected to it. Everyone at SkyTruth was supportive and passionate about protecting the environment. I wanted to be part of a team that promoted positive change.
GP: Could you summarize your SkyTruth Internship experience in one word/sentence?
DN: Friendly and inclusive.
BX: Fulfilling. I had a well-rounded opportunity to grow with the staff’s support.
CR: Fun. I really liked working with SkyTruth’s staff.
TE: Compelling. I was inspired by all the staff and their hard work.
GP: What was the biggest lesson you learned during your internship?
DN: I learned to work on my self-drive. SkyTruth taught me to be more proactive and to work with passion.
BX: I learned to be more confident and comfortable with myself. Every time I started doubting myself, someone from the SkyTruth team would help me reach my goals with encouragement. Being a young professional is challenging, but SkyTruth improved my self-confidence. I also improved my technical skills.
CR: I learned how to work remotely. I also learned data science techniques that helped me work on successful projects, such as fast.ai and pixel segmentation.
TE: I learned that individual contributions are crucial to larger goals. I learned that working for something you value is rewarding, and it matters. Everyone at SkyTruth is passionate about their work, and they spread that to me. If you work for something you value and have a passion for, the work will be easy. SkyTruth allowed me to explore my interests and assigned me projects I am passionate about.
Q: How did your SkyTruth internship help you advance in your career?
DN: SkyTruth made me a better professional. I got my job offer because I learned about grants at SkyTruth. My internship gave me the opportunity to develop a passion for the work that I do. Furthermore, SkyTruth taught me how to use many technological tools, like Slack. It helped me with my leadership skills and taught me how to manage a team.
BX: SkyTruth helped me improve my technical skills. I was less intimidated by the professional world because I had this internship.
CR: Having technical experience helped me access other opportunities. I learned how to collaborate with others, and I had the freedom to decide on my projects.
TE: I developed analytical skills that helped me in my new role. SkyTruth taught me to be enthusiastic about my work.
Q: What are you doing now?
DN: I work at the Carnegie Institution of Science as an Information Systems Manager.
BX: I am a GIS assistant for the Scientists in Parks Conservation Legacy program created by the National Park Service. I oversee the Pacific West Region.
CR: I am a business development associate at Encore Renewable Energy.
TE: I am a Business Operation Analyst at Striveworks.
Interns are an essential part of the SkyTruth team, bringing fresh perspectives and energy. SkyTruth offers various internships, including geospatial information systems (GIS), communications, and nonprofit management. Professional experience through internships is essential for professional advancement, and SkyTruth makes sure interns have the opportunity to learn and challenge themselves while working in a fast-paced technological environment. We are proud to be an organization that welcomes interns and gives them real-world experience to jumpstart their careers.
Interested in learning more or applying for a SkyTruth internship? Visit our internships page.