By Naeisha Rose
Every summer, around 300 students apply for a paid internship at the American Museum of Natural History. Approximately 200 will make it to the interview phase, and only 10 percent of applicants are selected for the coveted spots.
Matthew Lloyd, 19, from St. Albans, is one of the lucky few to have spent his summer at the Museum Education and Employment Program and constructed his own tour.
“It’s challenging to get in,” said Nick Martinez, the manager of Internships and Youth Community at the museum. “When I interviewed him, he had a lot of energy and he was really enthusiastic, and those are things that we look for in people that apply to the program because you are going to be working with visitors and camp groups.”
The Stony Brook student was extremely excited when he found out that he would be joining the MEEP program at the museum.
“I was definitely very happy,” Lloyd said. “I’m very interested in paleontology, geology and all of the natural sciences, and I’ve always adored this place as a child and I love the museum. It’s one of the places that I enjoyed going to on school trips and with family.”
At the MEEP program, Lloyd designed and conducted his own creative tour for campers and tourists from around the world. For the Age of Dinosaurs exhibit, he explained the diverse environments in which dinosaurs lived and he talked about iconic species like the Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops.
“I took it head on,” Lloyd said. “I think that it was really cool that I can make up a tour about the things that I was interested in and that I’m passionate about, and display that interest to other people.”
Martinez said he was impressed by Lloyd’s tour.
“The tour that he designed was really, really great and the dinosaurs are always a big hit,” Martinez said. “His tour was engaging.”
Lloyd made $12 an hour, 20 hours a week, and said he will use his earnings towards college costs. As a New Yorker attending a SUNY school and a resident assistant, his tuition is covered by the state’s Excelsior Scholarship. He gets to live for free on campus, but he helps out other students on campus without pay.
“I make my own food on campus and with this, I will have money to buy groceries, toiletries, supplies and books, so it really helps me out with expenses,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd also made many contacts at the museum before finishing his internship Saturday, which could come in handy in the future.
“I made plenty of great connections having worked at this museum,” Lloyd said. “I can tell people that may want to hire me to be a research assistant that I worked at the American Museum of Natural History. … My parents are really proud of me and they tell people ‘my son is working at the museum.’ ”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose