Internship Spotlight: Katy Benagh ’24 and US Forest Service

Katy Benagh, a senior majoring in Environmental Science at RWU, completed an internship with the US Forest Service – Grey’s River Ranger District in Summer 2023. Katy connected with the CCPD to talk about her experience at this internship site – read on to learn more!

Katy, a forest ranger intern wearing a white shirt, protective leg covers, and green pants with goggles and a blue helmet uses a chainsaw to cut into a grey-brown tree trunk lying horizontal on the ground. Another staff member wearing a green sweatshirt and khakis waves at the camera behind her.

Katy clearing a tree from a trail using a chainsaw

Why were you initially interested in this internship?

KB: One of my professors had worked for the forest service and told me about his experiences. I also love hiking and being outdoors so I thought it might be a good fit.

How did you find your internship?

KB: My career advisor sent me an open application for the forest service so I applied. Since it was an open application, multiple different forests and departments reached out to me and I ended up picking the one that I thought would be the best fit.

CCPD Note: Katy found her internship by applying to posted positions. Learn more about internship search strategies on the CCPD Search Strategies Checklist and make an appointment with your advisor for more information! Getting to know your Career Advisor also helps us send you better recommendations for great internship opportunities like this one.

What did you do in this internship?

KB: I worked on the Trails Crew so every day we went out and cleared the trail. Some days we got to go out on horseback and most days we hiked the trails on foot. We cleared the trails with hand tools and chainsaws. We also got to work with conservation crews to help build some new trails.

A line of 3 ATVs with people sitting on them wearing helmets is set on a dirt clearing with tree-covered mountains visible in the background against a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.

Katy and the Trail Crew on ATVs getting ready to head out into the forest

Has this internship helped you work toward your future career goals?

KB: This internship has helped me so much because I learned so much about working for the forest service and the government in general. It also helped solidify my ideas of what I want to do after I graduate.

What was your biggest takeaway from the internship?

KB: The biggest takeaway from my internship is how important it is to find a company and people you enjoy working with because working with the people you like can make even the worst tasks fun.

What advice would you give to someone interested in a similar internship opportunity?

KB: I would tell them to apply early and don’t be afraid to take an internship in a department or location that isn’t ideal. As an intern, you have the opportunity to work with all of the different departments and don’t have to go back to that same department.

Congratulations Katy on an awesome internship experience! We are proud to have you representing RWU in the workforce!

Katy, a forest ranger intern wearing a blue helmet, goggles, blue shirt, and orange protective leg coverings, holds a chainsaw and prepares to cut into a tree that has fallen across a trail covered in green foliage.

Katy preparing to use a chainsaw to clear a tree that has fallen across a trail

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By Molly Williams
Molly Williams Career Advisor