I knew that I was going to take at least a year off before applying to grad school because I wanted to get more work experience, so I returned to Portland in August where I spent the winter of 2006 bouncing around a few jobs. My first job was working for a photo lab, which was at best motivation to find a better job. After 6 weeks, I quit and started working for REI (part time) and an Intellectual Property law firm (full time). I was probably working too many hours, but in January my hours went down at REI, so I started looking for a part-time internship because I wanted to do something more closely related to my degree and my interests. I wound up interning at a Portland-based climate change consultancy that I learned about from a lunchtime talk given by its founder at Lewis and Clark in 2005. In March, I decided to return to Yellowstone in Summer 2007 by way of a five-week hiking trip across Spain.
While I was in Yellowstone, I was offered a Research Assistant position with the consulting firm and started on Labor Day 2007. I know that I probably would not have gotten that job had I not interned 10 hours a week earlier in the year. This job was a great opportunity for me because I was able to provide research support and gained a lot of experience conducting greenhouse gas inventories, drafting reports, and helping to develop a few Excel based models. I also helped author a short paper on carbon market opportunities for public transportation organizations with a colleague. In October 2008, I started the GRE and application process because I wanted to start a graduate program that would combine my climate change experience with my other interests in public land management.
Which I guess brings us to the present. I am in my first semester of a 2 year MS in Resource Conservation program at the University of Montana. Ultimately, I am glad that I waited to apply to grad school. I have a better idea of what I need to study, and I think that I also gained a lot from my work experiences. One other thing, if anyone wants to contact me, my e-mail is email@example.com. Just kidding, it is matt.ehrman (at) gmail.com. If you have one, ditch the stupid handle. I have seen people arbitrarily toss out resumes for that and stupid fonts.