Interview with Erin Husi, Environmental Science and International Studies Double Major graduating in Spring 2014
Summer Intern at Sprout City Farms
- What is your role in your internship?
I intern at Sprout City Farms’ acre of land located behind the Denver Green School. I work 20 hours a week doing farm maintenance and marketing, planning and coordinating events. For instance, we just had a “weed dating” event where people got to meet like-minded people while weeding our beds. It was very cute. I made the posters and helped setup. I also help teach kids about gardening.
- How did you find this position?
I am on the DUG (Denver Urban Gardens) listserve and they listed this internship in January. It was exactly what I wanted to do so I interviewed with the Director of Farming Meg and was hired. I started in April, when I was still going to school and had a 30 hour a week part-time job too!
- What were the key factors in you being hired?
It was competitive. I had studied abroad in Thailand and stayed in self-sufficient gardening communities, and that experience gave me an edge. I also had taken classes and was really interested in urban agriculture. I really want to do this, and that came through in the interview.
- What do you love about the position? What is challenging?
I love being outside. I’m learning so much about plants and farming. I love watching kids getting engaged. I recently had a high school boy in the garden with me and he had a revelation that the garden could feel a whole community and was so excited; I love witnessing that kind of breakthrough where someone becomes passionate about this.
A challenge? Working in the heat!
- How did DU Career Services help you?
I learned about the Internship award and applied. The I started being counseled by MaryMichael Hawkins (Director of the University Career Center) regularly because I really want to have a job when I graduate. The Career Center has been instrumental in me positioning myself where I want to be in the future.
- What advice do you have for other DU students seeking to find and learn the most from their internships?
Don’t be afraid to look for what you really want to do. My biggest fear in life is settling. So many students settle and take what they can get. Doing what you love to do is priceless. Make it happen and it’s totally worth it. Doing an awesome unpaid internship is incomparable to doing something paid that you’re miserable in.
- What is your future dream job? How is this internship helping you get there?
I want to work in urban development. I want to integrate farms into urban planning for sustainability and aesthetic reasons. I might work through the city or through a private development company. It was important to me to work in a farm now because I didn’t want to be telling people to farm if I hadn’t been a farmer myself. This internship re-affirmed my belief in urban farms—it benefits communities, creates jobs and helps change our food system.
I’m always ready to talk about this with anyone because I’m so passionate about it. Come volunteer! Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. It heals the soul.
Sprout City Farms cultivates urban farms on underutilized land, rooting community farms in the city and bringing good food to neighborhoods. They donate 10% of the produce grown to emergency food relief programs, have 80 families participating in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, and supply the Denver Green School from the start of the school year through Thanksgiving.