WORK EXPERIENCE PROGRAM PARTICIPANT: marissa melzer
LOCATION: maryland horse industry board - horseland at the maryland state fair
For my Work Experience Program (WEP) internship I worked for Anne Litz, of the Maryland Horse Industry Board; and helped her coordinate and run Horseland at the 2019 Maryland State Fair. Horseland is one of the largest early-education and equine outreach events offered in Maryland, focused on promoting our horse industry and it’s unique variety of facets to the general public. I worked alongside Anne to organize exhibitors, create the schedule of events, and tackle all sorts of logistical concepts throughout my internship, while also working throughout the week of the Maryland State Fair.
Horseland is a place where Marylanders will sometimes come into contact with a horse for the first time. I loved to watch them put their hands on a horse and feel that special feeling that I first felt for horses so long ago. It is also, naturally, a major attraction for kids and I loved working with kids in the Horseland tent. They loved making the stick horses, which seems like it wouldn’t be very impactful, but working with them on the crafts and getting to see them understand things and deepen their interest in the animals through art was really cool, and really special.
I learned so much from my WEP internship. It deepened my interpersonal relationship and communication skills, and taught me what truly goes into putting together an outreach event. I was responsible for recruiting new groups to the event and maintaining relationships with past participants. It was really great to get to know everyone and to fine-tune my relationship with them to suit their individual needs leading up to, and throughout Horseland. There were a lot of details to be conceived and then sorted through, and I learned a lot about multi-tasking and being a real self-starter.
This Horseland internship through WEP definitely broadened my perspective on potential job opportunities within the equine industry. It allowed me to combine several things I both enjoy and feel that I am good at. By the time I started the internship, I’d already spent several years in the barn and working hands-on with horses, and as much as I loved that time, it was really great to see that I could combine what I learned during those years, as well as other life-skills that I had acquired in my future career. It’s good to feel like the work you’re doing is not only important to you, but is beneficial for others as well.
I loved the opportunity I found through the WEP and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to create a deeper understanding of the wide range of diverse career opportunities available within the equine industry. It was eye-opening for me and has started to lead me down a really great path. I feel like the relationships that I forged and the lessons I learned during the WEP were invaluable and I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity.