After a summer full of new experiences and valuable lessons, my time working as the NACD policy intern has unfortunately come to an end, as it is time for me to go back to Middlebury College. I cannot thank the NACD staff enough for being welcoming and going out of their way to make this summer a true learning experience for me. They entrusted me with real responsibilities, allowing me to get to know first-hand the wide variety of conservation work NACD does on a daily basis.
I’m grateful for the diverse opportunities offered to me, from attending congressional events to writing blog posts, which let me discover how I can best develop and utilize my skills to address the issues about which I am most passionate, both here at the NACD office and in the future. It was also exciting to see the real-world effective application of my environmental policy studies and to get an inside peek at conservation psychology at work.
Joining the team in Minneapolis for the Conservation Leadership Forum and Tour allowed me to witness conservation and resource management policy in action, as well as the ability to tour some of the nation’s premier conservation districts. Interacting with and getting to know NACD’s members helped me to understand the authenticity of NACD’s mission, as well as the challenges of providing a unified voice for the more than 3,000 conservation districts across the United States. The speakers at the meeting provided insight on cutting-edge conservation practices and the future of conservation, and they also emphasized the importance of common goals in collaborations and partnerships to bridge different perspectives.
I’m thankful for my time at NACD and the ability to affirm my passion for conservation; one inspiring and major take-away I’ll leave with this summer is the fact that hard work, dedicated to even seemingly trivial details, is the key to success. Thank you to the staff for having confidence in my strengths, trusting in my ability to help, and for such an interactive learning experience! I will miss my coworkers and the fulfilling work we did this summer, and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to intern for NACD.