Dale Con Ganas

Sometimes when things go by too fast you don’t take time to stop and smell the roses. Luckily this week wasn’t as busy as I have been recently, and so I was able to sit back with thoughts of amazement. I’ve already been in my position for about a month and a half, and words just simply cannot describe how amazing it has been. So in this post I will do my best to use words to share my experience with you.

The way I had learned about this internship opportunity was totally on a whim. I was forwarded an email that my supervisor had gotten from a colleague that he was just passing on to those he knew. Since the word Latino was in the title, my supervisor felt compelled to share it with all the student employees he supervises. I clicked the link that I had gotten forwarded to me and sure enough I was interested at first click! After reading some blog posts of last year’s interns to try and figure out what this internship entails, I was smiling through it all. Last years interns had really amazing things to say about their internship and they always wrote about all the awesome things they had gotten to do during their time there. And, of course, who wouldn’t want to spend a whole summer encouraging Latinos to be outdoors and visit national parks?

After reading the blog posts I looked in to what positions they had open to apply for. I looked for the ones that really peaked my interest, whether that was by location or by position. Reading some of the job descriptions and qualifications I was timid about applying at all. I mean, after all, I was studying Sports Management with a minor in Recreation Services at my university, so how in the world would that connect me with the National Park Service? Did I really fit with what they wanted? Was I even going to make an impression at all? All these thoughts ran through my head, but I had to quickly decide if I was going to apply or not apply at all since I had found out about the program just a week before the applications were due. Even though I had doubts, I decided to apply anyway because it doesn’t hurt to try!

Submitting my application the day it was due was terrifying. I thought that within a week I would be receiving a rejection email, but luckily that wasn’t the case. I made it through the first wave and was asked back for an interview for multiple positions. Getting those interviews was a great reminder to never doubt myself and, even when I do, siempre dale con ganas no matter what.

Waiting to hear back from all the positions I had gotten interviews for was probably the longest of weeks of my whole life. I really wanted a position as an LHIP, but it was up to the hiring authorities to decide whether I was qualified for the job or not.  Within weeks of no word, I finally received an email saying that they were offering me a position! I screamed with joy as I read the email message and nearly dropped my phone.

At first I was timid about accepting the Youth & Program Assistance and Urban Outreach intern at the Intermountain Regional Office. I was unsure because I would be working in an office rather than being outdoors at a park like many of the other LHIP interns would be doing. But, in the end, it honestly has worked out better for me! I, for one, didn’t know what it was like to be at the regional level, let alone that we had regional offices for parks. Working here has worked in my favor because I get to be exposed to what happens in multiple parks rather than just one. Not only that, but I get to work with some of the most amazing people in the world and an even better interpretation and education team! I even have had the opportunity to travel to some of the parks within our region to get that park experience. I personally believe that the outreach I am doing here in the city and through the office is much more important than those in the parks. Kids and adults in these urban settings need this type of outreach in order for them to want to travel hours to the nearest national park. It is so very important for us to outreach to these urban places to expose how great the National Park Service really is.

All in all, my time here so far has been spent well, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the remainder of my time in the program. Although I am deeply saddened by the fact that my internship is coming to a close here pretty fast, it’s nice to see all the progress and things learned already in a short amount of time. All I have left to say is if you’re reading this and are thinking about applying, do it! I promise you won’t regret a single moment! Take advantage of this opportunity that will not only open up other opportunities but you’ll have so many great memories to keep from your experience.

“Enjoy the little things in life for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”


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