In my time working for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the past 14 months I have had many great opportunities and experiences. I have gotten to make a lot of connections with different groups in the Fish and Wildlife Service as well as other outside groups. A common question I have been asked is “How do you like working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?” So, I thought I would continue to answer other common questions I received throughout my time here that lead up to an overall answer for that question and share more about my experience.
As a background I have been working for the Fish and Wildlife Refuge System. My internship has mainly been working with the public through the visitor services program, but I had many opportunities to continue working with other programs. One question I got asked a lot is “What does visitor services do?” I had the same question when I got hired as I didn’t really know much about visitor services or really have much experience in working with the public. In my time here our visitor services team focused on working with the public to take visitors feedback and concerns and worked to implement plans that helped to address that for future visitors. We focused on a lot of planning for all the events hosted here, going out to target areas, and focusing on outreach and finding ways to teach others about wildlife and get them out to the refuge. We have focused on a lot of programming and working with the younger generations helping to get them interested in wildlife. We did a lot of work with field trips and working with high school students helping them to conduct projects on the refuge.
“Do they offer opportunities for improvement?” One major positive I have about working for USFWS is that they are very encouraging about professional development. If you read my past blogs, I talk about the many opportunities I have had to go explore a variety of different opportunities as well as continue working with past programs I helped with before this position. I had many occasions to go and try different opportunities to help better myself and my knowledge for my position or prepare for future positions. I got the chance to go to different trainings and to get certifications to help with programming and creating programs. If I wanted to see if I had an interest in something I haven’t done before they also found opportunities to help me determine if that was something of interest to me. For example, one of the many opportunities I got to do was because I have very little work with fisheries, so they found an opportunity for me to go and help out with fish work for 3 weeks. Not only did I get to decide if that was of interest to me, but I now have much more experience with fish. I got to do a couple of different opportunities that I didn’t have much experience in like that as well. I also am constantly outdoors not just for work but in my personal life and I want to be prepared for situations and I got the opportunity to take a first aid/cpr course as well as a wilderness first responder course.
“Would I continue working for them?” Yes, I have been offered positions throughout my internship to continue working for them. Had there been positions I felt truly passionate about I would have taken those positions. I am currently looking into other positions that I feel passionate about that I am working towards currently. They help you to find opportunities to help you to be ready for the next position you will be moving to. As an intern I am not officially a part of the service, so my team was really advocating for me to be able to find positions within the service to move to. They helped me to build connections with people I who could help me in future positions. So, to answer the first question “How do you like working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?” I have loved working for the USFWS, and I can’t wait to get back into a permanent position and continue working with them.