Farewell from the Land of Enchantment

A little more than eight months ago now, I packed up all my things in the back of my Ford pick-up truck and headed cross country from Maine to New Mexico. I had no idea what would be in store for me there or any idea of what New Mexico was like… all I knew was that I was traveling West for a position within the Bureau of Land Management as a CLM intern! Fast forward those eight months and I am so glad that I was willing to take that leap into the unknown, especially as a recent marine science graduate taking a position in the desert. Now looking back after completing my eight month internship, I can now see all of the benefits of this experience.

One major benefit of being a CLM intern is the opportunity to challenge yourself in more ways than one. I was able to challenge myself personally and professionally. Personally, moving cross country and establishing yourself in an area where everything is new to you and you know no one was a challenge, however, I was able to meet that challenge head on and I know that I have grown as a person from that experience. Professionally, this was my first opportunity to work within a federal agency yet with any position there is the challenge to do the best that you can do. Over my internship I did just that and worked very hard and challenged myself to do the best job that I could do, and as a result not only did I gain more experience, but I also made great connections with my co-workers and supervisors.

Another major benefit of being a CLM intern is the experiences and new skills that you gain.  As I mentioned previously, I graduated with a degree in marine science so as you can image when I received an internship position working as a range technician, I learned and gained a whole new set of skills. Although it may seem odd, the skills that I gained through this experience will help me in the future whether my path be in marine science or rangeland science because the skills that I gained can be applied in many different biological fields. I gained skills and experience in: a variety of monitoring methods, GIS, NEPA documents, data entry, and many more! These new skills and experiences will help me achieve my career goals.

One last benefit that I will mention, granted there are many more, is the ability to make connections with people in your field office both professionally and personally. After eight months of working with numerous people in the office, I entered as an unknown intern from Maine and leave as a co-worker and friend! My relationships with the people in the office made this experience even better. I want a chance to thank everyone at the Roswell Field Office for making me feel as part of the team! Honestly, everyone at the field office went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and a part of the group. I learned something from everyone there. Thank you again!

One last thing before I wrap this last blog entry up is a little advice for any person who is contemplating to apply for the CLM program… my advice is DO IT! You will honestly not regret in joining this program. This program is amazing! In this program you will gain experience, skills, and connections!

And last but definitely not least, I want to thank all of the people who make the CLM program possible! From the application process to completing the internship, this program has made the journey easy! The steps to apply and the steps to take during the internship have been laid out for you and are very easy to follow and for that alone I thank you! On top of that, everyone in the staff who I have had the opportunity to meet or speak with has been knowledgeable, helpful, and extremely nice! Thank you very much for this opportunity to be a part of the CLM internship program!

This was an experience that I will never forget… Thank you!

Stephanie Burkhardt

Roswell Field Office

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