Internship stories – Kelly

Written by Kelly Nollan

August 9th, 2020

Author: Kelly Nolan

This past month, I have had the privilege of working with the amazing team at Biorock Indonesia. With my coworkers all stationed 16,000 km away in Bali, I sat at my desk in New Jersey while I completed my set tasks for each day. 

Although I currently live in New Jersey, USA, I recently graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Environmental Science and Policy. Growing up in a small beach town, I felt drawn to the ocean and decided to pursue a future career in the environmental field. After graduating college, I was ready to begin working on the environmental issues that mean the most to me. 

I fell in love with marine conservation after living in Australia for a few months and seeing the magnitude of the Great Barrier Reef first hand. While living in Australia, I had the opportunity to visit Bali on a short trip, where I fell in love with the lush and beautiful atmosphere. These moments traveling abroad really emboldened my passion for environmental protection. 

After returning home from my shortened trip in Australia due to coronavirus, I was lucky enough to find an opportunity to work for Biorock remotely. After some research, I was immediately impressed with the work that Biorock has done and continues to do to restore coral reefs. Although I could not physically be in beautiful Bali, I felt an extreme amount of gratitude to work on such an important project from home. 

Since working at Biorock, I have had the opportunity to work on marketing strategies for the Adopt-A-Coral campaign and analyze the current market. I have created customer and donor personas for those interested in Biorock and strategized future plans given the “new normal” due to COVID restrictions. I meet weekly with the Biorock team where we discuss what I have worked on so far and what projects we should move forward with. I am constantly collaborating with other members of the team to set goals for each week and brainstorm new ideas. 

I have gained a lot of new knowledge from this internship that will be helpful with my future career. It was really interesting to learn how a business runs effectively and what things you need to consider when setting goals for the future. I loved thinking about marketing strategies on a global scale and trying to think of creative ways for the organization to grow. On top of all of this, I also learned great time management skills. 

As someone who would love to work internationally, getting the chance to work with Biorock Indonesia has been a great experience. The team and I overcame time zones to have meetings and message each other back and forth. In the future, I would love to work at a non-profit or start up. I love being able to work with a small team and to tackle local issues that have a great impact on the area. While coronavirus has halted my plans for a bit, I am excited to keep traveling in the future and potentially find work abroad. I am looking forward to using the skills that I have learned while working here at Biorock for the future professions that I may have. I feel excited and optimistic about the future, knowing that I have a niche set of skills for other similar opportunities.

Biorock has offered me a unique experience that allowed me to work on a project that I am passionate about. Learning more about coral and beach restoration and how it impacts tourism, medicine, and food, was eye-opening. The work that Biorock continues to do is a great example for all other environmental impact programs. Biorocks dedication to educating and empowering the local community is an important pillar of their business model, something I highly respect.

Biorock Structure in Bali Sites

Coral restoration projects are vital for the continuation of coral reefs. Climate change, mass coral bleaching, and pollution all are threats to the future of coral. However, projects like Biorock help me continue to be optimistic about the future. The entire team at Biorock is dedicated to restoring coral and protecting biodiversity within the Coral Triangle. In the future, more and more organizations like Biorock will be commemorated for their hard work and dedication to the planet that we all love. I cannot wait to keep up with what Biorock is doing in the future to see how far they have grown and what they have accomplished.  

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