My internship would have been over at the end of this week. I would have to leave my trusty white truck, Floyd, my awesome computer space way in the back by the window, and all the new people I have befriended. My little prison cell sized trailer would have to be returned to the man who lent it to me and the Chinese restaurant downtown would lose all the income I provide for them. The Warner Mountains would become memories and their rocky peaks would erode with time leaving only the sand of what I had once known.
have worked hard during my time here at the Alturas BLM and I have made friends. I have shown respect for my superiors and never passed up an opportunity to get new experiences. As my time here dwindled, I had to make a decision on whether or not to work at getting extended or moving on to the next experience. Though I hesitated at first, I did ask for an extension, and wouldn’t you know it…I got one!
Networking has always been both a priority and a way of life for me. My mentor did not have the funds to keep me on any longer, but I have spent time with the supervisors of the nearby BLM offices. The wildlife biologist atI the Surprise Valley BLM office and I have worked together multiple times and had once asked me if I was going to stick around. I told him I wanted to and his reply was “I will keep that in mind.” When my own supervisor could not keep me, I asked if she could talk to Surprise Valley. Within 15 minutes I had an answer…the answer I wanted to hear.
Everything you do is important to your character. All you can do is strengthen your weaknesses and invest in your strengths. I am not the most knowledgeable intern, but I know how to communicate and I know how to listen. I am not the most assertive, but I know how to work and I know how to compromise. The more in-touch you become with your own characteristics, the more clearly you can see how you fit in, how you can become an asset to yourself and those around you.
My experience here at the BLM has been a very individual experience. I am responsible for much of my day to day planning and often there is not a crew out there telling me on the bad days that we just need to finish this much or pointing out the good aspects of the day. In many ways it is more an exercise in responsibility and maturity. Though my plant ID for this area of the country has progressed much slower than I would have liked, my confidence in making judgement calls and trusting my instincts has grown considerably. In getting extended, I feel as though my hard work payed off in more than a good word or reference letter. The merit of my actions compelled a separate office to take me on and that makes me feel good.