Starting out I didn’t know what to expect or how any of this would truly turn out. Honestly, it was a bit nerve racking and I was worried that I may be making a risky gamble on a too good to be true posting on the internet (I think we have all heard horror stories of those). Well in the last few weeks I found the answer to my concerns and it’s the one that I wish I would have been able to read before I drove from North Carolina to Oregon for a posting I found online. First off Mt. Adams Institute’s (MAI) recruitment coordinator, Katie, is as nice if not even nicer in person than on the phone when you first speak to her. Aaron, Laura, and Erica also go above and beyond expectations and they are some of the most awesome down to earth individuals I have ever met. But I digress, the MAI staff has been very supportive and have made me feel like I can go to them for anything that I may need; they truly care about their mission and I truly believe that they want me to succeed in this endeavor.
In regards to the Forest Service, I was very unsure what to expect with the business culture and working environment at my Forest Service site. I was pleased to find it very inviting and friendly and they make me feel like I am one of them; they are very accepting. It has been a very pleasant experience, except the fact that I am so far away from my family. That has been the most difficult part, but that was to be expected as it is never easy but it is not the first time I have had to leave my family for an extended period (hence the veteran part). I have been able to do the job that I have been given as a VetsWork AmeriCorps intern as well as see what other Forest Service employees’ positions and duties are, and have been invited from time-to-time to go along with them and help in their day-to-day work. I’m indeed off to a good start and I am looking forward to where it is going to lead me into the future.