Thursday, January 17, 2013

Advice to applicants

Hello, hello! The application deadline for the 2013 Great Lakes Commission-Sea Grant Fellowship is rapidly approaching (February 1st!). I spent an afternoon at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources  career fair earlier this week and had a chance to talk to several potential applicants for the position. Now I want to cover the two most common questions I received during those conversations for people who may not have had a chance to attend.

Q: What do you do at the Commission?

A: A little bit of everything! I'm a wetland ecologist by training, and many of my projects utilize that skill set. For example, I've worked a lot with the Great Lakes Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel and the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative. But, I have also worked on alternative energy policy with the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative and I'm getting ready to do a big advocacy push in Washington D.C. during Great Lakes Day on Capitol Hill. What you do during your time as a Fellow will depend greatly on your skill set and the projects that the Commission is working on that year. Upcoming projects will likely cover climate change and Great Lakes coastal wetlands, habitat restoration in Areas of Concern, tracking the sale of invasive species via the Internet, and many other topics.

Q: Do you have any recommendations for my application? 

A: I think my advice for potential applicants as well as the future Fellow is to think not only about what you can offer to the Commission, but also about what you hope to learn during your time with the GLC. I wanted to continue my education and explore the world outside of academia, and I have worked with my supervisors to identify skills that I wanted to focus on each quarter of my fellowship. Skills I've focused on include meeting facilitation, grant writing, and the development of communication resources (i.e. Facebook, twitter, websites).

If you have other questions or just want to talk about my experience at the Commission, please feel free to email me at

Good luck!

Amanda Sweetman
Great Lakes Commission Fellow
(6/2012 – 6/2013)

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