Interns from several divisions and regions of Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) gathered in North Bend on Monday, July 10, 2017, for an all-day retreat. With a total of 19 interns from across the state attending the event, the day began with informal introductions. The festivities included a hike to the brand new Mount Tenerife trail (which opened July 1). Sam Jarrett, a South Puget Sound unit operations manager, provided his insights on recent construction projects, including a helicoptered-in bridge, which intrigued the engineering interns.
The keynote speaker was Kyle Blum. Kyle served in a variety of capacities during his time with the DNR, including chief of staff for Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and deputy supervisor for uplands under the previous commissioner, Peter Goldmark. Kyle, who is bordering the millennial age demographic, offered general advice for interns attempting to join the workplace:
- Although millennials are perceived to have a constant need for approval and promotion, Kyle believes that one should focus on doing their current job exceptionally well and not dwell on a need for approval.
- Interactions with other staff. Consider each day an interview, with everyday interactions serving as important opportunities to make a good impression when up for internal promotions.
- Constant complaining about work makes a negative impact on one’s own life. By avoiding constantly complaining, Kyle believes one can live a happier life, due to the significant amount of time out each day that one ultimately spends working.
He concluded by urging the interns: to know what they don’t know, try to be honest about it, and try to learn the unknown.
The afternoon concluded with a question and answer session with a panel composed of staff across the wide scope of DNR operations. Participants included: Viviana Olivares (Nursery Unit); Alex Nagygyor (Engineering); Ralph Johnson (Forrest Resources); Brock Milliern (Conservation, Recreation and Transactions); Lisa Anderson (Executive- Trust Outreach Specialist); Gerry Day (Executive- Wildfire/ State Forester); Ingrid Ekstrom (Product Sales and Leasing); Angus Brodie (Executive- Uplands); Sam Jarrett (Recreation/ Natural Areas); Alex Steely (Washington Geological Survey); and Matt Goehring (Aquatics). These individuals talked about a variety of topics: including their educational background, their path to their position, struggles they have faced along the career path, and their advice for interns.
Find out about internship opportunities at DNR.