Unfortunately, my internship with Branching Out is almost over and this is my very last blog post! I truly enjoyed working at Adams this summer with Bob, Laxmi, Steven, and all the other maintenance staff, as well as working with the field team and the Branching Out supervisors. I’ve had so many amazing new experiences this summer and have met so many wonderful people! Thinking back to my goals before the start of the internship, I feel like all my expectations have been fulfilled. I’ve learned so many things about gardening, plants, trees, and the different types of maintenance that take place in a national park. But most importantly, I’ve learned about the diversity of careers and interests in the National Park Service. I initially thought that biology would not be heavily related to jobs in the National Park Service, but meeting other professionals who work in different fields within the NPS opened my eyes to the wide variety of opportunities available.
I wasn’t really familiar with the NPS before Branching Out, but now I am considering working for the NPS as a possible future career option. However, I’m still not sure exactly what I want to do so my immediate next steps are to explore with different classes in school and figure out what area of biology I want to focus on. Since I worked outdoors in the garden this summer, next summer I would like to focus more on research. Depending on how my interests change, I might decide to work in a laboratory next summer. However, I would definitely love to come back and participate in Branching Out again as well.