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My Alcatraz Internship: When else can I do this?

Hello! Happy Monday everyone!

As a sophomore, interning at Alcatraz was also that moment where it was like “when else can I do this?”, w taking the ferry to work every day sounds fun and it was ;) d at the house of maximum security prison in North America, famously known as The Rock. Just kidding, it is not a prison anymore. Alcatraz has become one of well-known national historical site that is visited with almost 1.5 million visitors per year. As part of the facility management team, we used to see Alcatraz like Disneyland park, except instead of enjoying all the happy fantasies and thrilling rides, we enter the jarring history and thrilling mysterious story of Alcatraz Prisoners. That was actually why I was interested in interning at Alcatraz. I was curious by how people can manage this historically dark sites that was located in the middle of the bay, make it interesting and package it in the way that thousand international tourists would take the ferry just tour around the island because the tickets to go to the island always sold out almost every day of the summer.



One reason is definitely because blockbuster movie “Al Capone” and “Escape from Alcatraz”– no doubt. From an insider perspective, I think one of the major reason is al because national park maintain and preserve the history and architecture so well by shaping the story from the perspective of the prisoner himself. Although the park was really small, the park management thought about the start and end journey of a visitor on that island so well. The history and architecture was embedded in the tour of the island, right when they arrive on the island. The orientation at the port, the long walk up the hill surrounded by the dozens of seagulls, and dark and loud sounds of the prison locked. From the smallest details like the old stairs that had such tiny steps for the warden’s corgi, to the unexpected stories like the paintings by George Heck, a prisoner for 18 years. On top of that, the park also introduces the natural environment of the Alcatraz. Since the park was abandoned for quite a while after the prison closed, it has become a natural habitat for some native plants and animals around the burned building and offshore rocks of the island.


As part of Facility Management team, I had a glimpse of project management in terms of maintaining the public facilities like electricity, and water do not run out and visitors do not enter the building are that are about to collapse. But as an insider, I was able to explore these exciting hidden areas, such as the light house, the solar rooftop, and the habitats of baby seagulls.


As a sophomore, interning at Alcatraz was also my “when else can I do this?” moment, taking the ferry to work every day to an island that used to be maximum security prison sounds fun and it was ;) (Now in this pandemic, there is a high chance these opportunities sadly don't open anymore :(

Nevertheless, this experience eventually contributed to my work here in su-re.co, partially in the project management part and other in the designing journey of new candidate (not from a prisoner perspective though ;)


Thanks for reading ! I would love to hear what was your “when else can I do this?” moment and what was your unexpected fun learning experience from the moment ?

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pasthika
pasthika
Jul 21, 2021

My 'when else can I do this' moment was when I decided to move to Bali and worked in a small NGO (Future Farmers Indonesia) as marketing. At that time, I had to work from 5 AM in the morning everyday to 9-10 PM for 4months, drove a manual car back and forth Denpasar-Bedugul, but I got the chance to try and experience talking with the chefs or owners of 5 stars hotel to Michelin Star restaurants in Bali. That's also my first job in Bali. Because of that, I gained a lot of connections from NGOs, farmers, to communities in Bali.

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When I was working for logistics company to save some money for university I was supposed to work as an assistant. I found a track is not used, so I decided to work as a driver instead three days after I start working that job.

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Shadrina Ramadhani
Shadrina Ramadhani
Jul 21, 2021

I think "when else can I do this" moment was I went to Greece and Sicily to collect "sand". We (me and my supervisor) spent hours of road trip, went from one beach to another along the Mediterranean coastline, and had to snorkle a bit to collect the sample. The water temperature was only 8 degree of celsius.

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I kind of like switching the perspective for a bit. Ever since the pandemic, I think we've explored so many new avenues here. Instead of doing an FGD in Kenya, we were able to do it for Ethiopia and Uganda because everything was online anyway. Doing an FGD with African farmers, I definitely thought “when else can I do this?"

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cynthiaismail
cynthiaismail
Jul 21, 2021

when else can I do this experience is from my choice whether to pick Twente University or Erasmus Mundus Program to obtain my master degree. As Erasmus Mundus offers more mobility, so I thought when else I can enjoy Europe while studying. So I selected Erasmus Mundus program ;)

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