Well my internship is quickly coming to an end here at Wolf Trap and it is bittersweet to say the least. Coworkers and friends keep asking me “Are you excited to go back to school?” and my response has been quite mixed, while I am excited to go back to friends and finish up my degree, I have really enjoyed my time here at Wolf Trap. This internship has opened up an entirely new division in the park service that I never really had considered, administration. I have wanted to work for NPS for so long because I really believe in the mission, to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources of the United States for current and future generations. I believe it is unique amongst the federal government, because it is an agency that people choose to interact with as opposed to having to. How lucky would l be to work for an agency that allows me to work in places that most people choose to vacation in? Working in administration I feared because I no longer would be interacting with citizens directly everyday in an interpretive manner or directly preserving the land for future generations I would no longer feel like I was truly supporting the mission. I thought slowly after a few weeks I would stop feeling like an NPS employee and start feeling like an old desk jockey. I never did though, and it was not until last week when I listened to my Deputy Superintendent’s wife, who after several years as an interpreter now works in the Accounting Office for NPS that I understood why. She said “Even though I may not interact with citizens anymore, I serve those who do.” The only way that a junior ranger can come to the ranger station and get their passport stamped is if that ranger is taken care of, and it is our job to take care of them.
Before I can officially start serving NPS employees I need to finish up my degree, and learn more skills I can apply in my future career. I have already seen my coursework help in the workplace, especially HR and Org Theory (a little law, but I never went into that). HR and Org Theory helped me understand how and why people act the way they do in the workplace and come up with creative ideas that I could suggest to my supervisors to fix problems around the park. Last week I had the closing conversation with my supervisor and she shared how helpful I have been during this internship and how sad she will be to see me go. She told me she hopes I will apply for a full-time position when I finish my degree. I will definitely apply to Wolf Trap if there is a position, I already loved this park having worked at it before, but after this summer I fell in love with it even more. I hope it’s just a see you later to Wolf Trap, but if not I bid a very big thank you for everything you have taught me the last few years and especially these past thirteen weeks