The National Tigers for Tigers Coalition is proud to announce that we have our first official intern at the offices in Washington, D.C.! Taylor Tench will be a Policy Intern this summer for Tigers for Tigers tackling wildlife trafficking issues, planning for our first ever leadership conference, and aiding in communication with all of our T4T students across the country. Let's just say this intern won't be fetching morning coffee!
A 2015 Clemson graduate, Taylor is getting real life experience right out of college in the conservation world. Saving our mascot from extinction is vital, but so is offering our students amazing opportunities to learn, network, and get jobs that they are passionate about. I sat down with Taylor last week to learn more about his experience with T4T, and what he hopes to get out of it!
C: How did you get involved with Tigers for Tigers?
T: I became involved with Tigers for Tigers my freshman year at Clemson University. I had always been interested in endangered species conservation and once I discovered an organization on campus dedicated to saving our mascot I was immediately hooked.
C: What have you learned through your involvement with T4T?
T: T4T taught me so much throughout my college career, not only about tigers but also about the field of conservation, teamwork, leadership, and the value of hard work. Before my involvement in T4T I had a very narrow view of conservation in that I assumed “conservation” was limited to going out to some exotic location, studying an animal, and somehow that was all it took to make a difference. I have learned that it takes collaboration from all different disciplines (science, policy, law, communications, education, etc) to enact successful conservation efforts. Through my time as a T4T member at Clemson I transitioned from an ordinary member, to an officer in the organization, to President my senior year. My experiences in T4T at Clemson showed me just how important teamwork is to accomplish your goals. It takes hard work from a team of like-minded individuals to achieve difficult objectives, and thankfully T4T is full of members across the country ready to do what it takes to save our mascot! Even now as an intern I continue to learn each day, and that is what keeps me so interested in and excited about the work this organization is undertaking.
C: What kinds of things are you taking on this summer for your internship with NT4TC?
T: I’m taking on any and every task the Coalition needs me to do to this summer. So far I’ve been helping out with planning for Global Tiger Day, writing letters, attending hearings on newly introduced legislation, corresponding with students and faculty coming up to DC next week, and am working on putting together information for some new Coalition publications. Soon I’ll begin putting together content for the Coalition’s fall leadership conference. So needless to say, I have plenty to keep me busy!
C: What do you hope to get out of your internship?
T: I want to contribute as much as I can to help the Coalition grow and succeed. I’ve been a part of the Coalition ever since its inception and believe this organization is on its way to be a huge player in the world of tiger conservation. Additionally I’m hoping to learn as much as I can about the policy side of conservation and understand how things get accomplished here in our nation’s capitol.
C: You’re from Florida, went to college at Clemson and are now in D.C. How are you enjoying it?
T: I love it! It’s very different from what I’m used to, but I think that’s what makes it so exciting.
C: What advice would you give to other T4T members?
T: Stay open-minded and don’t lose sight of your goals. Take chances and expose yourself to different fields and experiences outside of your main interest. As long as you continue to work hard and seize every opportunity handed to you, you will succeed.