PWSC's Vicki Heisser interviewed alumni Kelly McLaughlin to find out where she's at now and how her summer internship with the BLM went.
PWSC: What are your goals now that you have graduated from Prince William Sound College?
Kelly: “My goal, now that I have graduated from Prince William Sound College, is to focus on finding a job I am truly passionate about.”
PWSC: What made you decide to do an internship at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)?
Kelly: “…Well, let’s just say I’m very glad I went to the BLM Glennallen Field Office. Vicki and Erin were very supportive and excited for me to at least apply for the Outdoor Recreation Rivers and Trails Intern position. After meeting with BLM staff… Kenny Steck and Robben Taylor… I was hooked on being a part of the trails and river crew. Being on four wheelers, and on rafts going down the river, how could I not be?”
“I absolutely enjoyed my time with BLM. It was one of the greatest jobs I have had
so far (I feel the same when I worked at the PWSC Health and Fitness Center with Kayla
“With my internship, I learned a new thing every single day. The staff at the BLM are very patient and so willing to help you when you need it. If you are looking for a job where you are four wheeling on 15-30 mile trails all week or jumping on a raft for 3-4 days to help clean up and maintain beautiful locations all around the Copper Basin, this internship is for you.”
PWSC: Was the time you spent with the BLM all that you expected?
Kelly: “Yes and no, I didn’t expect the BLM staff to be so nice and friendly! I also did not expect there to be so many trainings, but to be honest, I really enjoyed all the trainings. The instructors were great teachers and took the time to make sure we understood everything.”
PWSC: What skills and experiences did you walk away with after your internship and the course study that you had at Prince William Sound College?
Kelly: “Skills I took away from the Bureau of Land Management this summer are I learned
how to use hand tools, more about off road vehicles, and how to use ratchet straps…that
is for sure! The backcountry skills I learned are packing the right gear, how to
read the river, how to canoe down a river… I got experience using my Wilderness First
I learned, from my co-worker, about proper nutrition and how to pack healthy food in the backcountry…I learned how to winch myself out of the mud (millions of times)… I got experience being on trails and rivers for multiple days, and how to pack for each trip.”
“Because of this internship… I know that if I am going to be applying for a job working in the outdoors, I am going to be a lot more confident going into it, knowing that I have of all of these backcountry and trip planning experiences I gained from this summer…”