14 Dec Intern Introduction: Alex Williams
My name is Alex, I grew up in Chester, VA, and to be completely honest, I never considered working for the federal government before this Resource Assistant Program (RAP) internship with Environment for the Americas (EFTA) and the U.S. Forest Service. Nowhere in my career goals did I list working in a national forest or working for the federal government as a stepping stone in my professional development. But now, I find myself working as a Public Affairs Intern in the Monongahela National Forest, and I’m pleasantly surprised by what the internship has to offer.
I was always very clear about my plans to work in the nonprofit sector with communities on climate issues. When presented with the opportunity to work as a Resource Assistant, I jumped at the chance to try federal work, work with a cohort, and work in a rural community. The Forest Service employees and supervisors that I have connected with have warmly welcomed me—the 2020-2021 cohort has already formed multiple social groups to share education materials and support each other while we work through our individual challenges.
I am now seriously considering using the Direct Hiring Authority (DHA) upon completing my internship to help me look for a permanent position within the Forest Service. Although I will eventually work in the nonprofit sector, the network I’ve made within my cohort and the Forest Service has encouraged me to be more open to opportunities during my early professional career.