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Working Remotely as an RA for the Cleveland Working Remotely as an RA for the Cleveland
20 September 2021

Working Remotely as an RA for the Cleveland National Forest


Written by: Jennifer Hernandez


 With Mid-August marking four months into my six-month Resource Assistants Program with the US Forest Service, I reflect on how far I have come in feeling comfortable working remotely. Starting a new job is nerve-racking enough. Meeting new co-workers, learning new processes, and getting used to the new work environment. Coming in as a remote intern has been a different experience that I’d never had before. I have met tons of people online via Teams meetings but haven’t really connected with people. Of course, there’s the respectful chit-chat before a Teams meeting but besides that most communication with people is relating to work and getting to the meeting agenda. I personally feel a bit shy chatting with people in front of others on Teams meetings sometimes but it’s something I want to overcome!

 

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet a few Cleveland Forest resource specialists in person by joining them on a field trip with the Southern California Edison Company out to Pleasants Peak in the Trabuco District of the CNF. The goal of the trip was to check out powerlines together and clarify a few questions people had. It was a bit of a long drive to get to our location but on the way, I was able to talk to two resource specialists I carpooled with. On the drive, I was able to ask about the work they do and their experiences working for the Forest Service along with other questions to get to know them! Once we met up with everyone else participating in the field trip, we drove off-road for about an hour and hiked a bit to check out the power lines we wanted to see. It was a great opportunity for me to meet other specialists from the forest, the Recreation Officer for the district, and other representatives from the utility company. As a bystander I was able to see how important it is to form good interpersonal relationships with companies the forest works with and how beneficial meeting in person can be. I appreciate the people I met and them taking the time to share their work and get to know a little about me. I’m the type of person that likes to get to know people and especially as an intern I think it’s important for me to meet as many people as possible and learn about different kinds of work done on the forest as I explore my place in the Forest Service.

 

Agency: U.S Forest Service

Program: Resource Assistant Program (RAP)

Location: Cleveland National Forest



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