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Internship Spotlight: Nina Lagpacan, FES/SOM ’17

What are you doing this summer? We asked rising second-year MBA students to check in from their summer internships, where they are applying the lessons of their first year at Yale SOM.

Taking GPS points for water quality and E. coli sampling sites

Nina Lagpacan FES/SOM ’17

Internship place and location: Grand Teton National Park, Moose, Wyoming

Hometown: Lafayette, California

Favorite Yale SOM class: Modeling Managerial Decisions

I couldn't think of a better way to get celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Park Service than to be living and working at Grand Teton National Park. This is my third season working for the Park Service, but I'm trying a new role this summer as a member of the GIS/hydrology team through the NPS Academy Internship program. Some field days included anything from startling baby bears on the trail to canoeing across gorgeous lakes, watching a bald eagle fly overhead, and taking backpacking trips to monitor glaciers. 

Summer Projects

The projects I worked on this summer can be grouped into three broad categories: creating physical map products, modeling stream flow, and monitoring glaciers. In order to keep this blurb short, I'll direct you to my final story map presentation if you want to find out more details about these projects. ESRI story maps are a great way to present rich content like photos, videos and maps all in one place to tell a compelling story and engage your audience. You can view my story map here.

Networking Opportunities

One of the most valuable aspects of my experience this summer was having the opportunity to shadow other divisions and conduct informational interviews. I was even able to sit down with Superintendent David Vela to gain his perspective and insight on the Park Service. Shadowing the business resources management division on multiple occasions was eye opening and allowed me to reflect upon some of the concepts that were presented in the Yale SOM core curriculum. You can view some of my main takeaways from each of these conversations in the stakeholder map embedded in the story map. 

View of the Tetons after hiking up to monitor Schoolroom Glacier

My mentor played a critical role in helping me set up these networking opportunities. I was very fortunate to be involved in an internship program that pairs mentors and interns at the beginning of the season. If I could offer any advice for incoming students, I would highly recommend seeking out a mentor before getting to your internship site. 

Final Thoughts

This summer wasn’t all play, and I was able to gain some hard and soft skills that will be critical in my career after graduation. I built upon my GIS and GPS skills, learned about glaciers and how we can study the effects of climate change, and made a real stretch to seek out networking opportunities to learn more about park operations. I’m both excited and nervous to seek out full-time opportunities with the Park Service or other federal land management agencies, and I’m looking forward to seeing out my goal to become a sound natural resource manager.

If you have any questions  feel free to email me or chat with me back in New Haven!