Internship Experience – Manuel Ellenwood

My name is Manuel Ellenwood; I’m a part of the Nez Perce Tribe and I was an intern for Trout Unlimited for eight weeks during the summer. My experience should be different from others because I worked out in Lewiston while most others worked out of the Boise office, so I worked independently. I didn’t mind having quiet time working since that’s how I’m most productive and sometimes comfortable.

Manuel Ellenwood visits Boise

What I’ve learned.

Although growing up in Lapwai and being a tribal member, I feel like I may not always know what the tribe is working on throughout the region. So, the first thing I learned through this internship came from my own tribe, which is that they would like to breach the lower four dams, the same as TU. The tribe has already taken steps in that direction; they have committed to getting solar panels to soon contribute to replacing the power that the dams provide.

Manuel’s first day on the job – touring Lower Granite Dam

My favorite part(s).

I have had tons of favorite parts during my time as an intern, but I think the most rewarding out of my day was interviewing people. It was great to see people love what they do everyday and get to talk about it. One thing for me is that I want to be passionate about my job and not have to despise going into work. I’ve gotten a great sense of my opportunities as a career talking to all of these people.

Something surprising.

Something I’ve found surprising is being able to meet and interview the president of TU. I just think TU is this huge place filled with so many diverse people and I’m a little intern from Lapwai, ID. I was definitely shocked when I was told I could interview him. Early on in my internship I watched some videos with him speaking on different topics, read some blog posts he had written and heard from others how great he is so I thought he just seemed really cool and great to meet for myself.

Manuel interviewing Idaho Water Resources Board member Jo Ann Cole-Hansen

Something I didn’t like.

Everything was great, honestly, but the one thing I didn’t like I actually had the power to change! Kira and Ashlynn, whom I reported to, were both generous enough to let me work on my own time and I chose 8-4. One thing about me is that I’m not a morning person. Luckily, they were very understanding people. They offered to let me work from home on occasion or if I woke up early enough, I could do work and then I could get off earlier. The flexibility offered in this internship made my summer plans possible

Manuel & Harrison after spending the day at the Silver Creek Preserve in Picabo, ID
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