There are newer employer reviews for National Park Service

Landscape Architecture Internship

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Intern - Landscape Architecture Intern in Springfield, MO
Current Intern - Landscape Architecture Intern in Springfield, MO

I have been working at National Park Service as an intern (less than a year)

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO
Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

Pros

Had a great experience getting to know the workings of one of the parks, WICR. Was able to work on projects that were later implemented.

Cons

Have no complaints, great experience - the location was the only drawback

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  1. Great learning experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Intern
    Current Intern - Intern

    I have been working at National Park Service as an intern (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Learned quite a bit, excellent employees who worked very hard in my sector.

    Cons

    Pay was a little low

  2. Helpful (2)

    Well-respected, mission-driven agency, poor work-life balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Park Ranger - Interpretation
    Current Employee - Park Ranger - Interpretation

    I have been working at National Park Service full-time (more than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Being a real national park ranger is a pretty rockin' job. You get a lot of respect from the public, and chances are, every day you do something really meaningful for present or future generations. Most rangers are extremely qualified, unless -of course- they were hired under "special" hiring authorities.

    Cons

    Must sacrifice personal relationships to move up, as promotions are rarer than diamonds and moving up generally means moving across the country. Cohesive teams are harder to come by as highly qualified rangers with years of experience are losing jobs to "preference eligibles" with no experience. This basically means that there is a gigantic failure of the hiring system at a national level. Plan on volunteering or interning, then working seasonally for years before ever getting a non-temporary position with benefit, and even those generally come with long or indefinite furloughs and no park housing/ridiculous commutes. As someone who hires seasonal rangers, it is a nightmare to sort through the system, we receive hundreds of qualified applicants in one massive alphabetical list. We have to hire veterans/preference eligibles first if the meet the most minimum qualifications. If none of them accept the job offer, we can see the list of non-veterans - 90% of which are totally over-qualified with tremendous experience and skills. If you really want a particular job, contact the boss directly to make your name stand out.

    Advice to Management

    The hiring system is a failure, and there is NO effective effort to retain the service's best employees. Morale is lousy in most parks, as few employees feel they are rewarded appropriately for the work they do, and nearly all feel that they can't compete fairly for jobs due to the veterans preference rules in place. Find ways to hire, retain, and support the most qualified people, and - just maybe - morale will get better. Also, provide managers and employees training on dealing with PTSD. While some veterans are cool, some are loose cannons with little skill to handle the high-stress of constant personal interactions with the public and their peers. Disciplining them can be formidable due to fears of legal backlash or a hostile work environment.

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