Student Conservation Association

  www.thesca.org
  www.thesca.org

Student Conservation Association Reviews

Updated November 5, 2014
Updated November 5, 2014
22 Reviews
3.8
22 Reviews
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Student Conservation Association President & CEO Dale Penny
Dale Penny
9 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    2014 Field Season

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Student Conservation Association

    Pros

    Great experience, beautiful workplace, bountiful time to explore and enjoy the wilderness. This is a great organization that truly cares about the well being of their alumni.

    Cons

    Though the stipend is very livable, you will be strapped for cash, most of your money being spent on gas as a sheer result of the remoteness of most worksites to the nearest towns.

  2.  

    Natural Resource Intern

    Former Employee - Natural Resource
    Former Employee - Natural Resource

    I worked at Student Conservation Association as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    The internships are all expense paid (they pay for airfare/transportation to and from the location, and give you $150 every two weeks, housing is provided). It is a great way to meet new people from across the country and learn more about how the agency (NPS, USFWS, etc.) funcitons. Make sure you look carefully at position descriptions. I would highly advise against jobs where you just pull weeds all day. Definitely take advantage of learning GPS/GIS at your site. And best part is if you work 120+ hours (I believe) you get a free pass to all national parks and federal lands for a year!

    Cons

    Highly recommend bringing a car or a bike. You can definitely feel isolated at times especially if you are living off site. Also, the work can get very tiring when you are out in the field all day. Make sure to check yourself every night for ticks.

  3.  

    Top heavy organization without much growth opportunity for employees.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charlestown, NH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charlestown, NH

    I worked at Student Conservation Association full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Mission is good. And SCA is a wonderful provider of internships - for other organizations. Casual dress. Good amount of PTO and volunteer days.

    Cons

    Used to have relaxed office environment, but the atmosphere has become strained after multiple rounds of "right-sizing". Company culture and staff morale have suffered.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to do a better job of retaining institutional knowledge and developing current employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Best Summer Ever

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

    I worked at Student Conservation Association as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Amazing experience, great people, great work, and wonderful story for future positions. It's my and most employers favorite item on my resume.

    Cons

    None. I had an incredible experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work

    Recommends
  6.  

    Great mission, poorly organized

    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Senior Crew Leader in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Crew Leader in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Student Conservation Association part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Working with high school students from the South Side of Chicago was incredibly rewarding! I was pleasantly surprised out how open they were to new experiences and work challenges, even the "dirty work" of environmental restoration in the field. They were very responsive to the lessons we taught about environmental conservation, careers, and especially nutrition. I loved our student crew members!

    Cons

    I was one of four senior crew leaders, and it was difficult to coordinate our efforts. One of the four leaders contributed virtually nothing in the way of student management, educational curriculum, or any noticeable level of commitment and was therefore a burden. There was constant conflict between our lead crew member and the Director of the local SCA Chapter, creating an atmosphere that was constantly frustrating and stressful. In particular, it was difficult to plan new outings for the students; multiple times when an event was planned, it had to be canceled last minute because of a lack of approval from the director, or because the director committed to the students to a different engagement. Whether this lack of support was willful or simply due to poor communication, I am not certain. But it definitely made for a less productive and enjoyable term of service.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide better structure, guidance, and support to your crew leaders, and vet them better! If it is clear an employee is not pulling his or her weight, take action to remove them!

    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Interpretation Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Student Conservation Association as an intern

    Pros

    Experience working with visitors at a great park, allowed for flexibility to design your own program, great workplace environment, lots of fun and interesting coworkers, great with providing housing for interns

    Cons

    Not always what they promised-- was supposed to be more flexible depending on your interests, so you can try out what it's like to work in different departments

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Rewarding, but not monetarily

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Conservation Intern in Florissant, CO
    Former Employee - Conservation Intern in Florissant, CO

    I worked at Student Conservation Association as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Allowed me to gain valuable job experience that ultimately resulted in a job at the same site I interned at. Offered a great opportunity to see the country. Education award at the end was nice, but it was better to just know that I was gaining experience in my field and serving the greater good. They also paid my VERY expensive travel costs to relocate from AK, which was awesome.

    Cons

    Stipend was dismal, and taxed which made it even less. The stipend came on an SCA debit card and could not be put directly into my own bank account, which was challenging because it was not enough to live on and I often had to dip into my savings and put a transaction on 2 separate cards. Application process was frustrating as you could only put in for a limited number of positions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Calculate stipend based on living conditions and location. For me, the amount I was given was not enough to cover gas and even basic food items (I had to live 15+ miles from my work location, so gas added up.)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    A company with great aspirations, almost fully acheives them

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Community Crew Leader
    Current Employee - Community Crew Leader

    I have been working at Student Conservation Association part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    (Lots of different programs, these are about the National crews (summer) or community crews (part-time, school year)) Good compensation for number of hours worked, lots of autonomy, wealth of resources, wonderful aspirations.

    Cons

    Can be disorganized/try to do too much; challenging schedule (seasonal or infrequent work); donor relations at odds with the mission of the company.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great experience for students and young professionals

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

    I worked at Student Conservation Association as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    The SCA is great for people who are getting into the environmental field. It offers a wide range of opportunities and professional development. I did two internships with this organization and really enjoyed the work I did. My co-workers were overall great and I fully support the work the SCA does.

    Cons

    The major downside is the extremely low pay, also known as their "subsistence wage". If you aren't provided housing you'll be expected to find your own and the SCA will provide a rent stipend. It's only enough for you to get a shared living space. Just recently I had to turn down two opportunities because I was going to be paid so little that I either had to get a second job, which is extremely difficult if the program is Americorp associated, or go on government assistance just to make sure I could live decently. Be careful when pursuing an internship with this organization unless you're prepared to live very frugally or eat through your savings.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wonderful work, but it would help to raise wages if you want to attract more seasoned workers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great Midlevel Management, but Constant Reorganizing

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

    I have been working at Student Conservation Association full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule
    Fair Pay
    Lots of room for creativity in programming
    Amazing dedication to mission on all levels

    Cons

    Feast or famine programming
    Must be able to work alone in an office (may be a pro for some)
    Constant change in leadership
    Lacking in planning, job security is shaky
    Glass ceiling for promotion of minorities (the higher up you go, the less diversity you see)
    Focus too much on attainment of minorities, no leadership level process for retention

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recent changes are being implemented. Be mindful of "driving" staff before inquiring on what they actually need.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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