New Internship, New Me

During my undergrad lots of advice was given. The thing I heard the most, and still echoes in my dreams, is “Network, network, network!”. A shy person’s worst nightmare. However, during my time as an intern with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service I’ve learned that networking isn’t really all that hard when you’re working with a lovely, welcoming department. Not only is conversating with others a great opportunity to leave a lasting impression that can benefit you in the future, but you get to hear so many great stories and meet fun people. When you put yourself out there you also realize most people in this profession are looking to help those in their early career since we are the future of this field.

It’s hard to pick who’s the most influential person I’ve met so far in my internship since I’ve met a wide array of people. But what I can say for sure is the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex has been the most influential place I have worked at so far. I’ve grown tremendously as a professional, picked up new people skills, and created meaningful relationships that I will carry forever in my career. My advice to those who suffer from anxiety when hearing the word ‘network’ and are nervous about starting at a new work place is jump in, the water is fine. The people you work with have similar passions as you and aren’t as scary as their titles may lead on. Most are happy to see new faces and hear new stories. Just be a sponge and absorb everything around you. 

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