26 Oct Internship Wrap-up
What a crazy journey it has been to get here! I have just started my first week in my permanent/full-time position with the Forest Service as a fish biologist. If you had asked me 3 years ago or even the beginning of this internship, I couldn’t have foreseen this being where I ended up. Since graduating college, I have worked in conservation and land management for nonprofit organizations, the county, AmeriCorps, and the National Park Service (NPS). The Forest Service was not on my radar- mostly because I didn’t know what they did or what the job possibilities were.
As an intern with Environment for the Americas (EFTA), I was working on climate change and sustainability under the forest botanist. It might not seem like an obvious next step, but neither was my introduction to this internship. I found out about EFTA while working a seasonal botany position for the National Park Service (NPS). I was volunteering with a researcher there to band owls and met someone who told me that if I didn’t have my next seasonal position lined up that EFTA was hiring. At first, I was dead set on sticking with NPS but none of those positions panned out. I began to consider the positions open with the Forest Service. At the time I was living in Colorado and all the positions were in another state. I would have to leave my family and place I had been renting for 6 years; however, I found a duty station in Idaho Falls that interested me and made the leap.
I know that I thrive more in an in-person environment, especially when learning a new job and new agency. I’m very happy that I chose to commit to moving and trying something new. I was able to connect with employees that work on my forest, have a plethora of field work, branch out, meet new people, get to know another part of the country, and pick up new hobbies. Being on the forest and being able to see the work you’re doing and connect with the land was very fulfilling. Working on projects made more sense being able to visit the sites. Plus, I was able to network and secure a position after the internship.
My point is that I have had to learn to be more open to opportunities presented to me because they can turn out be very fulfilling.
I am very thankful for this internship because it gave me the opportunity to pursue a permanent- full time position in the federal government. I appreciate the time dedicated to professional development and the webinars. I felt very supported throughout my internship by both EFTA and my host site.
On to the next part of my journey!