Student Conservation Association

www.thesca.org

Student Conservation Association Reviews

Updated January 13, 2015
Updated January 13, 2015
25 Reviews
3.8
25 Reviews
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Student Conservation Association President & CEO Dale Penny
Dale Penny
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Awesome Experience

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Student Conservation Association

    Pros

    Great internship opportunity for recent graduates

    Cons

    Don't be prepared to make much of a salary

    Recommends
  2.  

    Great Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Community Crew Leader in Clinton, NJ
    Former Employee - Community Crew Leader in Clinton, NJ

    I worked at Student Conservation Association

    Pros

    SCA is full of kind and enthusiastic people looking to make a real difference in the world and future generations. The training really prepares you for the job, from social training to work skills. The physical labor and teaching high schoolers how to build sustainable trails is very rewarding. Both of those allow for personal growth and gaining leadership experience. If you're looking for an awesome summer job and are 21 or older, I definitely recommend checking out the SCA Crew Leader opportunities.

    Cons

    As a Crew Leader, you need to rely a lot on your Program Manager and Co-Leader, so hopefully they are good matches for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The more SCA swag, the better!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great job to gain experience and network

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Trail Development in Hadley, MA
    Former Employee - Trail Development in Hadley, MA

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

    Pros

    SCA is a great way to get your foot in the door with gaining experience in conservation through government agencies. Work is usually rewarding and you have a high chance of working outdoors.

    Cons

    SCA's living stipend is significantly lower than most other similar conservation internships/corps partnered with Americorps. There is a huge disconnect from the actual organization when working for an internship and easy to forget that they are your employer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more involved in the internship programs. Reevaluate living stipends.

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

    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.

  6.  

    Natural Resource Intern

    Former Employee - Natural Resource
    Former Employee - Natural Resource

    I worked at Student Conservation Association as an intern (less than a 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.

  7.  

    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
  8.  

    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 a 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
  9.  

    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 a 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
  10.  

    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
  11.  

    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 a 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

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