Thursday, January 1, 2015

Great time at Placement Week

Placement week was just as everyone described; exhausting, but fun. Favorite parts? Meeting my fellow Fellows, getting to know the people in a handful of offices at interviews, and getting a chance to check out D.C. and Silver Spring. Everyone is interesting and accommodating. Many facilitators and interviewers involved in the process have been fellows themselves, and so are extra-understanding. While it is good to prepare with the proper clothes, snacks, etc., the most useful thing was having an open mind and going with the flow. With a full day of host presentations, fourteen interviews, and social events every evening, there isn’t much time to be stressed. The week is over before you know it and at the end not only do you have an exciting new job, but you already know some people you will be working with and are generally oriented to the DC area.

I was excited to be placed with Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, working on a report to update Congress on recommendations for actions to prevent harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in the Great lakes. I will be based in Silver Spring and travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan periodically where I will connect with researchers and other stakeholders to gather information for the report. With a background in harmful algal bloom studies, the topic couldn’t be a better fit for my interests. 

I am glad I stayed a couple extra days to look for housing and childcare around Silver Spring. Touring apartments was helpful, but even more helpful was getting a feel for each part of the city in the daytime and at night.

I am looking forward to starting the fellowship in February and living in a vibrant metro area with great food and lots to do!

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