Student Services Contracting Testimonials

I have personally found this experience very rewarding and informative. It is wonderful to have an opportunity to work with the people and equipment that are leading the way in environmental control and detection methods. I have also found it very insightful to learn how the facility and the Agency as a whole work and interact. I feel that this experience is helping to prepare me for research in any arena: corporate, government or academic.
-- Jared Novak - Air Pollution Prevention and Control, Research & Development

This program gave me a chance to start off on the right foot in my scientific career. I am gaining great laboratory experience, learning new and innovative techniques and generating quality data for an agency that I believed in and looked up to as a graduate student. The job market for recent college graduates in any life science field is limited given that most positions require one or more years of experience outside of schooling and graduate research. However, the Student Services Contract program gives students the benefit of the doubt by recognizing our thirst for knowledge and dedication to our work. Additionally, I believe that students in this program have an advantage over the competition in applying for future positions due to the high quality of experience obtained while under contract at the U.S. EPA.
-- Kimberly Salinas - Gulf Ecology Division, Research & Development

This job and the people I work for have gone above and beyond my expectations by treating me not just as a student, but as an actual employee. I have been welcomed to attend meetings, training, sit in on conference calls, and participate in discussions and decision-making. This job has afforded me opportunities, not only for work experience in my field of study, but also for making contacts and networking within the agency, and receiving credit at school. I have employed a lot of the information I have learned in my classes at school, but the work experience has also taught me a lot as well. This position has helped me with both technical and people skills, and given me more knowledge of the agency and how it works.

One of the best things about the program is the cooperation with my school schedule. My schedule for work is highly flexible, and changes each term to fit around my classes. I am extremely grateful to have not only a great job opportunity, but also one that works with me so I can use it to my advantage and get the most out of it. I think this program is a terrific opportunity for students like me to get their foot in the door of the environmental science field, and come out of the job with a valuable experience and a worthy resume. I think this program benefits both the student and the EPA, and will continue to be an excellent opportunity for those individuals looking to get an edge on the job market in the future.
-- Charlena Yoder - National Homeland Security Research Center, Research & Development

Participating in the Student Contractor Program at the EPA Gulf Ecology Division in Gulf Breeze, FL has been a great experience for me. It is very difficult to find a good position in science directly out of college without having had some job experience related to your field. This position has offered me the experience I need to pursue my career goals in the field of marine science. I have gained very extensive laboratory experience, with concepts such as basic techniques and safety, as well as instrumentation and specific assays of samples. I have learned QA/QC procedures, proper data entry and analysis, and method development. Hopefully by the end of the contract, I will also have been involved in the publication of 2 or 3 different papers written for scientific journals. I now have a very good working knowledge of field work, sample collection, as well as some research cruise experience. It would have been very difficult to obtain this experience had I not participated in the student contractor position.
-- Jessica Rivord - Gulf Ecology Division, Research & Development

The Student Services Contractor Program has become an invaluable opportunity for my career in the Marine Science field. I am confident in knowing that my training I have acquired at EPA will lead me through other jobs in my future. My mentor has placed me in various projects according to my experience, which provides a wonderful challenge for me. His guidance has helped me understand the Federal work environment, project planning and execution, and team communication. I believe this program is the most beneficial to any student who want to pursue a Federal career. A+ to this program!
-- Heather Reed - Gulf Ecology Division, Research & Development