That Feeling When Your Internship Turns Into an Amazing Career in Tourism—and a Real Passion

Sequoia Wemigwans talks Science North, Science Communication, and Cultural Connections
Sequoia laughing

“The most inspiring thing about working here is seeing young Indigenous kids look up at me and think, ‘that could be me one day,’ Sequoia Wemigwans says, lighting up when they talk about their job as a Science Communicator with Science North in Sudbury.

“Because when I was a kid, it wasn’t like that. Having this opportunity to share my culture at the same time as teaching kids about science is just amazing to me. It’s a dream.”

When one choice turns into a hundred opportunities

Sequoia never thought they’d be working in Tourism. But making one random choice opened up a world of new possibilities for this Early Childhood Education grad. When a Science North internship for Indigenous youth aimed at recent grads came up, Sequoia made the leap to learn new skills and get some work experience.

“Before I came to Science North I was always in the arts. I never really had an interest in science,” Sequoia says. “So I decided to intern on the Projects Team.” They learned a lot about project development within science centres, and how exhibits work and how to create exhibits. It connected their understanding of science communication with their experience in the arts and education. “That was a huge stepping stone into my science communication career. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the internship.”

Connecting Indigenous Culture with Science Education

Being open to possibilities opened up paths they had never really considered. They found that their early childhood educator skills were transferable to their new job. “Learning how our world works, scientifically—there are so many parallels and connections to my Anishinaabe culture,” they explain. “It really sparked my interest. And I’m still teaching kids! It would be so awesome if I could see more young Indigenous people like me go down this same path and find this passion like I did.”

“So it’s really important that I wear a medicine wheel, or I wear my beaded pins, or I wear ribbon skirts to work,” Sequoia says. “I want kids to identify me as someone they can look up to, a person who is part of their culture, who is doing something really cool and awesome.”

Support to level up and find a career you’re passionate about

The support and encouragement of the internship program meant that Sequoia and their crew of  interns could level up. “After the internship, our supervisor helped us apply to whatever job we wanted, wherever we wanted to go; not just at Science North. And all of us have found an opportunity we love.”

Excited to be building the best career

For Sequoia, a tourism internship led to a career–and a passion–that is fun, interesting and motivating. “If you want a career where you’ll be constantly learning, constantly challenging yourself, and always having exciting new things and people (and animals) to learn about and to have in your life, this is 100% the career path for you!”

In the two years Sequoia has been at Science North and Dynamic Earth, they’ve found learning experiences and opportunities to grow. “A lot of people spend their life trying to find happiness and fulfillment in their job. I come to work every day so happy, so excited to be here. It doesn’t even feel like work to me.”

Sequoia at Science North The Sudbury Big Nickel monument against a night sky, lit up by spotlights. Sequoia at Science North

Choose your own adventure—and find your career in tourism

Science Director Julie Moskalyk says that careers in cultural attractions, like Science North, in Northern Ontario are more vibrant than ever—and science communicators are in demand. “There aren’t enough people to hire right now!” she says, laughing. With an exploding industry poised to expand to almost 2.29 million jobs by 2035, it’s a great time to think about whether a career in tourism is the right choice for your future.

Here’s why it just might be the best choice:

😎 The tourism industry is easy to get into with a range of entry-level positions

☑️ Once you’re in, you’ll learn about new, different opportunities that might tick more of your boxes

🎒 There are so many different education programs in colleges and universities that will help you learn what you need to know to pursue that new opportunity you just discovered

🧑‍💻 Northern Ontario has internships, apprenticeships and mentorship programs of all kinds – take your pick and grow your skills (often while getting paid!)

😀 Meet a bunch of new people who love the same things you do

🪂 Spread your wings and soar, bb!

Tourism Rocks is part of Destination Northern Ontario's Tourism as a Career Campaign.  The Government of Ontario and its agencies are in no way  bound by any recommendations contained in this article.
About Bonnie Schiedel

Bonnie Schiedel is the founder of www.tbaywithkids.ca, which covers fun family-friendly attractions, events and restaurants in Thunder Bay. She enjoys canoeing, hiking, snowshoeing and travel, and you can read more of her award-winning work at www.northstarwriting.ca.

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