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Summer Interns Help Serve the Public While Learning Real-World Skills

NRCS interns met with Juan Hernandez, NRCS state conservationist for Maine, to learn more about the agency.

NRCS interns met with Juan Hernandez, NRCS state conservationist for Maine, to learn more about the agency.

Interns at USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) bring new energy and insight to the workplace. Plus, internships equip students with real-world skills that will help them in their future careers.

Interns this summer had an opportunity to work in a variety of fields, including data analysis, accounting and staffing – all important facets of the nation’s private lands conservation agency.

Meet Cindy Lee, who worked as a management analyst intern in NRCS’ Office of Regional Conservationists. Lee is a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine, where she studied political science and social policy.

“I chose NRCS because it is an agency that I have never worked with or heard of,” Lee said. “I had taken a course at my university regarding geographic information system how to make maps, so I was fairly excited when I got the opportunity to use it outside of the classroom.”

Lee collects and analyzes data and is working on a project related to new geographic information systems, or GIS. She continues to explore her passions and embraces new opportunities.  Lee aspires to work in D.C. and a master’s degree in public administration or public policy is on her radar.

Keandra Garner, a senior studying accounting Pennsylvania State University, worked with NRCS’ quality assurance team this summer.

She said she chose NRCS because it relates directly to her accounting program. She is learning about the intricacies of the details involved with the financial aspects of NRCS. She wants to move to California after graduating and to pursue a second bachelor’s in singing and a master’s in accounting.

Also an accounting major, Monica Rodriguez is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso who is interning in financial management.

“I really enjoy working with the agency, and I try to show it with my best job performance,” Rodriguez said. “I benefit NRCS with my work enthusiasm and skills. I work hard, give my best, have a positive attitude and care about the agency.”

Like Garner, Rodriguez plans to get a master’s in accounting.

“I certainly hope your experience leads you to a tough decision for which you would take an interest in becoming more of a permanent fixture to this agency,” NRCS Associate Chief Leonard Jordan told a group of interns at a recent event.

To learn more about internships with NRCS, visit the Student and Recent Graduates webpage.

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