By Elissa D’Aries, Former New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Intern
As a not-outdoorsy literature major who would admittedly rather be sitting inside rereading Jane Eyre than hiking Bear Mountain, I never imagined interning at the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. Still, when my career adviser suggested that I spend part of my precious last semester at Ramapo College interning for the Trail Conference, I was interested. What kinds of tasks would they have someone like me, who doesn’t know anything about trail maintenance, do?
Now that I’ve wrapped up my internship, I must say that they had plenty of interesting tasks for me to do—and none of them involved me even going outside! In my first and longest task, I worked with the amazing Jeremy Apgar, the Trail Conference’s cartographer, to edit the descriptions and directions for the 20-part Long Path map set. I also researched potential contacts for the organization, edited park descriptions, and helped edit this very blog, among other tasks. All of these duties either had to do with writing, which is related to my major and (fingers crossed) my eventual career, or office work. As a recent college graduate, I quickly learned that even entry-level jobs require some office experience, so having this internship gave my resume a much- needed edge—and helped me land my first job!
Not only did this experience help me with my job search, it also allowed me to get to know a diverse group of great workers and volunteers. I may not have known what to expect before starting my internship, but now I would recommend it to anyone—even those who quiver in fear at the thought of strapping on hiking boots.
If you’re interested in interning at the Trail Conference—on or off the trail—email John Leigh or call him at 201.512.9348 x 22.