University Internship: Laurent’s Journey and His Leadership Development

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University Internship Opportunities

I’m from France. I’m a student working and learning in a business school. I applied for an internship at a wilderness ranch in Canada for 3 months. I expected to improve my English and learn management and sales skills.

At the ranch, there are a lot of possibilities and I was able to practice riding, bareback riding, archery, target shooting, packing, shoeing, gardening, hiking, biking, singing and listening to talented musicians, whip cracking, lasso throwing, fence running, wildlife viewing, swimming, horse logging, flying in a helicopter, and so much more! There are so many opportunities in this ranch and you learn everything you want. In the office, I learned how to create marketing newsletters, talk over the phone in English, management skills, etc.

I think the wilderness ranch environment really helped me grow as a person. The scenery and the surrounding area are so incredibly beautiful that you are immediately humbled and begin to appreciate the nature in everything. I believe many people who come here have similar goals, which makes it easier to have good teamwork. The fact that everyone here works hard and tries to the best of their abilities really makes you feel good every day.

The positive energy around the ranch at times of success and the energy from the guests at the end of their amazing trips really adds to the experience. I also like the fact that things can change daily, and you must be flexible and adaptable and be able to mold yourself to any circumstance. I don’t like the idea of routine, so I often enjoy the crazy days and the times when everyone must work together to make a new plan and go forward.

When I applied to work here for 3 months, I wanted to develop my sales and management skills with people who speak English every day. I didn’t expect to take the reins during the first wo weeks and work by myself in the office. That’s why to my mind I grew up, by doing all my best day by day to be comfortable and self-confident in this job. I worked as the booking coordinator of the ranch and I’m convinced that hard work leads you where you want to go. I told the owner of the ranch that I was interested in going into the bush and learning more skills about horses, and he gave me the opportunity to do the guide school. It was an unbelievable experience. For the future, I’ll do my best and follow my intuition in every moment of my life.

Staff members all eat together, work together and enjoy the off-moments of working days together. If a problem happened we had the keys to solve it and found the good balance. As we all depended on each other, I created friendships and came to trust people quickly. We worked together as a real team of friends and did daily tasks and created some to improve the social environment. For example, the way everyone worked as a team to roll the hay for the horses and care for them showed me friendship and respect for others.

This wilderness environment allowed me to discover that I’m a natural leader. I also learned leadership skills, how to manage people and pass on my knowledge. I also learned that I am a quick assimilator and that I can adapt to any situation. The environment really helped me about being confident and proactive in uncomfortable situations (in the office for example, you could be busy suddenly because of many events happening at once).

Now I plan to go back to school for my last year, enjoy a homecoming in France, spend time with family and friends, share my stories, etc. My internship helped me grow up for my future job for sure and I’m ready for new adventures.