HYP Member Feature - Ashley VandeWege from Outdoor Discovery Center
It all started with a hospitality course at Central Michigan University. Originally a business major, Ashley realized after taking a few courses she wasn't finding her major particularly fulfilling. Upon a friend's recommendation she took a recreation course, Introduction to Recreation. Soon after enrolling she discovered her passion for recreation and community building.
Ashley volunteered regularly for a summer at the Outdoor Discovery Center, to complete field work experience hours, during her time at Central. When time came for Ashley to find an internship, the Outdoor Discovery Center was a natural fit.
During her internship, the tasks varied from event staffing to educational programs, but she went above and beyond showing her commitment to Outdoor Discovery Center and her volunteer work. Integrating herself into the work environment, being flexible and asking questions were her key steps to embedding herself at Outdoor Discovery Center.
Just before her internship was about to end, the ODC offer her a job and she hasn't looked back since. Her integration from intern to staff member was an easy one because the ODC made her feel like a staff member throughout her internship.
Ashley's advice for new interns and new hires, "Work as hard as you can, don't act like an intern. Integrate into the staff, ask questions, be flexible and, most importantly, do NOT be afraid to fail."
Ashley is currently working on beginning a Women in Nature program at the Outdoor Discovery Center. Women in Nature is a program series intended to create opportunities for women to try new things, de-stress and get outdoors. Many of the programs will be held at the Outdoor Discovery Center, others will be help at nearby parks. Each session will highlight a different outdoor activity ranging from biking to archery. The best part? All programs are free! The catch, registration required.
If you are interested in learning more about the Outdoor Discovery Center or the Women in Nature program please visit http://outdoordiscovery.org/