While in college, my professors encouraged me to pursue a career in academia. I felt heavily swayed by this encouragement, despite the fact that it never felt like a good fit. After college and freshly direction-less, I was determined to use this period of career exploration to work for a menagerie of organizations: non-profit, academic, business, and, finally, government. It’s about the journey . . . right?
The goal of this internship, for me, is to help me decide if I want to work for the federal government. Once I arrived at the BLM office, I scratched this goal in the front of my notebook and began asking my co-workers and supervisors about their careers. Naturally, my co-workers both enthused and complained about their jobs, but I was careful to be more objective this time and not be persuaded heavily either way. I wanted to gain a complete picture of what it would be like to be a federal employee before making a decision.
Ocean Day was the event that confirmed that a position in the federal government is a career I want to pursue. For this event, the BLM partnered with Friends of the Dunes, neighboring schools, the CCC, and many, many volunteers to bring 700 children to the South Spit to pull invasive beach grass. I enjoyed the role that we, the BLM, played in the event: logistics and oversight.
In the end, I want to be a public servant. I want to help people do what they need and want to do, as long as it does not harm the environment or others, ideally. Sure, the government isn’t perfect. There are still instances of corruption, power struggles, exploitation, and extreme bureaucracy heaviness. However, the government is here to protect and bring people together, and that is the government I have found in my office.
This period of confusion has been fun, but exhausting and insecure. After drifting for two years, I wasn’t sure that I would ever find something I wanted to work towards. Simply, I am relieved that I have found a direction. Sure, it’s about the journey, not the destination. But it’s awfully nice to have a destination to journey to.
Arcata BLM Field Office