Highlights from supporting New Employee Orientation

Since joining the New Employee Experience Team as a Resource Assistant in February 2023, I’ve assisted with six National and Regional New Employee Orientations and I’m currently preparing for an additional three in the next few weeks. Each orientation has been an informative experience that offers a unique cadre of participants and presenters. In my position as program specialist, supporting new employee orientation has been my primary focus and program of work. It has been an incredible introduction to learn and become familiar with the agency’s mission, history, and culture.

This role has enabled me to learn more about the various facets of the Forest Service and all the program areas that make the mission a reality. We try to engage many of these programs as panelists and speakers to highlight the extensiveness of the agency’s work. The greatest opportunity for this is during the Strategic Priority Panel Sessions. The priorities, “Excel as a High Performing Agency”, “Apply Knowledge Globally”, “Sustain Our Nations Forests and Grasslands”, and “Deliver Benefits to the Public” showcase the multitude of ways they are achieved and fulfil the agency’s mission.

The Forest Service’s motto, “Caring for the Land and Serving the People” is at the heart of the strategic priorities and has been since the agency’s inception in 1905. I had the super cool opportunity to deliver the “Forest Service Origin” session at our most recent orientation, in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Southwestern New Employee Orientation. It allowed me to take a deep dive into Forest Service’s creation and as a history nerd, I enjoyed every minute.

Besides filling in for content delivery as needed, I also assist with scheduling and briefing presenters on orientation, answering questions and preparing them on what to expect. It has been great to see just how many of the agency’s employees are willing to dedicate their time and energy to helping support orientation and new employees. I have really enjoyed working with and meeting some truly amazing and inspiring people, just like the incredible Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl!

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