http://www.nps.gov/

National Park Service

Beach Lifeguard

June - August 2018 • Eastham, MA

What I liked

It was really cool working to give people an enjoyable beach experience while also monitoring their activity to keep them safe.

What I wish was different

Advice

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trail dog

May - August 2018 • Crater Lake, OR

What I liked

Being outside.

What I wish was different

Advice

It's hard work, but fun.
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Maintenance and Trail Worker

October 2017 • Fort Payne, AL

What I liked

Everything!

What I wish was different

Nothing!

Advice

Work for the NPS! It's a great opportunity
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Tool Booth Operater

June - August 2018 • Page, AZ

What I liked

Interacting with people from all around the world.

What I wish was different

Nothing was a great job.

Advice

No matter what kind of job you have, or if its in the heat or AC, stay hydrated.
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Beach Lifeguard

May - September 2019 • Patchogue, NY

What I liked

Good Boss, worked outside, lots of free time

What I wish was different

Advice

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Latino Heritage Intern

June - August 2018 • Homestead National Monument, NE

What I liked

I liked learning how national parks opperate and about the different career opportunities.

What I wish was different

Nothing. It was an incredible experience .

Advice

No two days at a national park are the same, so you have to be ready for everything.
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Invasive Plant Intern

May - August 2017 • Empire, MI

What I liked

The amount of experience I got was phenomenal. The Park Service does a great job of giving interns every opportunity to learn that they can. The work environment, and not just the gorgeous landscape, was absolutely amazing; I couldn't have asked for better coworkers and housemates. Plus, that whole section of Michigan is amazing and there is always something to do outside of work!

What I wish was different

I wish I would've gotten a little bit more information on what my job actually entailed before going into the internship. It was a lot of very physically demanding labor - which was fine - I was just expecting a lot more research based and surveying work.

Advice

My advice would be to take every opportunity you can to explore all of the departments of the park that you are interested in. As long as you talk to your supervisors, they will be more than happy to get you all of the experiences you want out of the internship. My one regret is never going out with the Plover crew!
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Cartographer Technician Trainee

July 2017 • Lincoln, NE

What I liked

I like the open office environment of NPS. It is relaxed and inviting. Everyone I work with is at the top of their respective fields. Many years of experience here

What I wish was different

I was told in the application and interview process that I would be doing something different than I ended up doing. I was supposed to be doing mostly GIS specific work. I am more or less doing media content creation instead, using Photoshop and Illustrator more than I use ArcGIS

Advice

Everyday will be different and be prepared to learn skills that you didn't know you would immediately use.
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Historical Weapons Lead Intern

June 2017 • Gulf Breeze, FL

What I liked

I was in charge of four interns and assisted park rangers in the training of said interns in the operation and care of 19th century small arms and artillery weaponry. We fired both musket and cannon for interpretative programs to teach about the stories of Civil War soldier on Pensacola Bay and the important role they played.

What I wish was different

We had one intern who was not a team player due to the physical demands of the job and did not put in the same effort as the other interns and myself; then she left a month early before her internship ended.

Advice

I would not recommend wearing a Civil War union wool uniform in the direct sun during the hottest part of the summer unless you want the sensation of being slow cooked.
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Custodian

May - October 2018 • Glen Canyon, UT

What I liked

If nothing else, working for the National Park Service (NPS) came with a substantial collection of benefits, including annual leave, health benefits, and due to the infinite amount of visitors at the park, job security.

What I wish was different

all in all the job was a great gig. in my personal experience the day started at 6:00am every morning, so if it were up to me i’d start a bit later, but every park is different so i can’t imagine everyone working for NPS would have to wake up so early

Advice

The National Park Service isn’t always super picky about employees, so even if you make mistakes don’t worry about it, just do a better job as you go along and you’ll get along just fine with the government, especially if you work holidays.
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Historical Interpreter Intern

May - August 2019 • Keystone, SD

What I liked

It was a good experience to be somewhere very different and to get to see some of the ins and outs of NPS and what is like to work in a National Park. The area is breath-taking and the people where very kind. They also set you up with housing.

What I wish was different

The first month or so was very overwhelming and lonely but that is to be expected.

Advice

It was very good and growing to have this experience. It was good to live in a place I had never been to before. If you are trying to get a job like this try and have some speech and debate background or speaking skills/experience as well as customer service and dealing with lots of people all at once.
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Bat Monitoring Technician

June - September 2018 • Ashland, OR

What I liked

I loved getting to do field work and learning about bats. I was able to travel to almost all the National Parks in Southern Oregon and Northern California for work which was really cool!

What I wish was different

I wish my schedule would have been more regular.

Advice

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Park ranger

May - August 2018 • Wall, SD

What I liked

I loved being outside and working with people that shared the same passions

What I wish was different

I wish I had a different salary but that could be fixed by applying for a higher GS level

Advice

Be open for any opportunity and any location to work
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Fire Effects crewmember

May - August 2019 • Yellowstone National Park, WY

What I liked

Exploring the national Park and all the great helicopter flights.

What I wish was different

I wish school didn't start so early, so I could have worked longer.

Advice

Keep your head on a swivel if you are in the park in the spring when elk are having their babies. They are stealthy, and aggressive.
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Volunteer Interpreter and Maintenance staff

May - July 2019 • International Falls, MN

What I liked

I liked conducting interpretive programs.

What I wish was different

I wish I got to be on more maintenance projects in the back country.

Advice

To always look for opportunities even if they are unpaid.
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YCC Crew Leader

May - August 2018 • Bryce, UT

What I liked

The supervisors and the learning experiences.

What I wish was different

Nothing really, it was a great experience.

Advice

Be prepared to work with kids who don't care to listen very well.
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New Media, Design, and Production

January - September 2018 • San Francisco, CA

What I liked

Personal and professional development, supervisors that care about your growth

What I wish was different

Advice

Don't be afraid to ask for help!
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Camp Counselor

June 2018 • Lafayette, LA

What I liked

I liked helping and getting to know the kids and park rangers. I also liked the activities we did such as movies, crafts, and canoeing.

What I wish was different

I wish I could have helped at more sessions of the camp.

Advice

Do volenteer work. Even though you're not getting paid, volunteer work is beneficial. At a summer camp like the one I volunteered at, you learn how to interact with children and how to work together with the other couselors and adults.
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Interpretive Park Ranger

May - August 2018 • Moose, WY

What I liked

I really liked the people that I worked with. My supervisors and co-workers were so supportive of me and made sure I felt comfortable. The beginning of the internship was fairly overwhelming but I was able to lean on them which helped me a lot. They built me up so that I could do the best possible job while I was there.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Park Guide

June - August 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

I was able to learn a lot about natural systems and ecology and I got to be outside interacting with the public.

What I wish was different

Part of my job was handing out roller skates and I was not informed about this until I got there. I ended up having to basically learn my job by doing and then make a handbook for new employees.

Advice

I would say to make sure that you get all of the details before you start, don't just let them tell you it changes day by day.
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