Odyssey Impact: When Posting On Odyssey Gets You Your Dream Job

Odyssey Impact: When Posting On Odyssey Gets You Your Dream Job

Karley Nugent's post on her incredible summer at Yellowstone landed her a position in the park.
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When Karley Nugent packed up her car and headed for Yellowstone National Park for a summer job, she knew she would have an unforgettable experience. What she didn’t know was that after that summer, and after posting about it on Odyssey, Yellowstone would offer her the opportunity of a lifetime.

Nugent’s love for Yellowstone started back in 2014 during a short family trip, and since then, her mission has been to be a part of the park.

“I signed up for the seasonal job, and I got it, and it was the most life changing summer of my life,” she said. “Couldn’t have been better… well maybe, if I could have stayed longer. But when I found out about Odyssey a year later, I wanted to explain how amazing Yellowstone is and use my writing to help others discover this place.”

Nugent has written a variety of Yellowstone articles, but her post on her summer experience showcased her passion for the park and her eagerness to show the world why a visit to Yellowstone is absolutely necessary:

She greeted everyone she met with warm smiles, forming bonds with people from all walks of life. The people of Yellowstone taught her that no matter where they come from, all people are humans who were meant to come together and share love. And she learned that people are part of what makes Yellowstone so special.

Within a few days, the post was already gaining traction with hundreds of shares.

“I’ve written about Yellowstone and my travels and some articles have had mild success, but this one is my most successful article to date,” Nugent said.

She was contacted by past and current Yellowstone workers, people who visited the park before, and others who told her they were inspired to experience what she wrote about.

“It was awe-inspiring for me to be able to connect with people and people who worked in Yellowstone and make friendships,” Nugent said. “It’s really humbling to see how much of an impact my piece had.”

Soon after the article gained traction, one of Nugent’s summer coworkers shared the article with Yellowstone’s head of human resources. The department enjoyed her article so much they requested a phone call with her to thank her for the article.

And to offer her a position in the park.

“They said, ‘We’re really interested in your photography and writing and what your thought process is,” Nugent said. “‘We want to create a position for you. We want someone out here to write and photograph and video for us just like you’ve done for Odyssey.’”

The position, which tentatively starts at the end of May, will include working with the park’s social media team, creating original content, and assisting with additional projects in the park. Nugent will have a company car and living quarters right on premises.

“I’m sitting there thinking that this is my dream job and I can’t believe it was happening. I almost cried,” Nugent said. “This whole experience is so humbling just because I’ve worked so hard for this.”

Aside from securing an amazing first job out of school, Nugent is thankful for the overwhelmingly positive responses her article has received.

“The biggest best thing is when people tell me, ‘You make me want to go there,’” Nugent said. “I want to use writing and photography to inspire people to travel and give them these experiences. And now because of Odyssey, I can.”

Cover Image Credit: Karley Nugent

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When People Respond to My Major With 'You Better Have a Rich Husband'

The things I've learned working with kids are worth more to me as a person than any college class I've taken. Most days, the kids teach me more than I could ever teach them.

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This past week I have been working at the local elementary school's art camp as an assistant teacher. I've been helping with the camp for three years, and I've worked at a preschool as well. Now I'm in college at the University of North Alabama as an Elementary Education major. More and more lately, I'm getting a sour face when I tell people that I'm an education major." Be prepared to be poor," they say. "You better get a rich husband."

But I'm here to argue against the preconceived notion that I have picked my career based solely upon the fact that I won't make as much as a doctor or engineer. Is this the mindset that you want the people who are teaching your children to have? If so, good luck to you and your family. I've been incredibly blessed by my short time spent with kids so far. Working with children has greatly improved my life and I'll tell you why.

Working with kids is not easy by any definition; I think that's something we can all agree with. But isn't that what makes it so wonderful? I've always heard that being a teacher takes a special kind of person, but I wholeheartedly believe that working with kids makes you into a special person. The things I've learned working with kids are worth more to me as a person than any college class I've taken. Most days, the kids teach me more than I could ever teach them.

I know you could see this one coming: kids are patience builders.

Coming from a perfectionist who began teaching with a low tolerance for anything that went wrong, I've learned a lot about patience. Children are just learning, just beginning their lives. They haven't had enough experience to shape their conscious or moral standards. In their eyes, they have two models to form their foundation upon: their parents, and those around them. So how can we expect anything less than occasionally acting out or making mistakes? Maybe we're the ones they're modeling their silly behavior after at times. Kids may get into more trouble than we prefer, but we love them all the same.

Kids are, sometimes brutally, unquestionably honest.

If your hair is frizzy and sticking up everywhere, then they'll let you know that you look like a porcupine. Or why, they'll ask with a giggle, are those red bumps all over your face? I'm so thankful that I don't even have to keep myself humble; the kids do it for me… and I don't even have to ask! They will never hesitate to point out your flaws or mistakes, even if it's something that you're trying to conceal; you can never underestimate a child's observation skills. They continue to impress me every day.

They stay optimistic.

It doesn't matter if they've never painted before; they're going to paint a picture of a Tyrannosaurus Rex for their dad and he's going to love it. Being an optimistic person myself, it gives me high hopes to be around children who love life and look for the good in people. I think their optimism is quite contagious. If only I could catch onto being so excited about something that early in the morning.

Also, with children comes continuous laughter and fun.

Working with them brings out the 5-year-old in me (not that I don't act like I'm five years old all the time). Whether it's bringing inanimate objects to life or imaginary friends, kids know how to have fun no matter the circumstance. You have to be creative with them, constantly making up games and characters to keep up with their imagination. You kids keep me young... or age me twice as fast. You decide.

Their innocence is refreshing.

They haven't experienced the world yet to spoil their minds, and I continuously wish that I could be so innocent minded. In the words of Patrick Rothfuss, “When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind." You took the words right out of my mouth, Rothfuss. It's nice to be around little ones so untainted.

They're always there to lift you up.

There is truly no better feeling than a child making something for you, because they used their time and their resources that they could've spent doing anything else. When I have my own classroom, I'll be eager to display all of the gifts my kids have graciously given me. They love seeing their work hanging up because they know we treasure it. But the tangible gifts are only a small portion of what truly matters, which is the sentiment that I so often receive from kids. If I'm down and out, they can tell. If they run up and give me a hug or a smile so big, it never fails to brighten my day.

Lastly and most importantly, kids are authentic.

They're completely themselves, because the cruel world hasn't given them a reason not to be. They're unashamedly bold and that's something that we should all strive for. Kids are friends with whoever they want, and they don't distinguish each other by race or beliefs, but simply see each other for who they are. It's OK to be different. As the older generation, it's our job to set an example for our kids to be themselves and to love life.

Now you understand how interacting with students has shaped me as a person, and I'm sure those who have been around kids would agree. My passion for teaching has given me so much more than I ever thought it would, and I've barely gotten started. I can't wait to see how much I've grown as a person at the end of my journey.

So next time you cringe at the life decisions one has made because of financial reasons, consider that they have a huge heart for teaching and all that it entails. Maybe they're in it for more than simply the money. Never discredit an individual's passions because of your worldly attitude.

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6 Abnormal Things That Every College Student Normalizes For The Sake Of Survival

What do you mean, I had too much coffee? *whole body trembles*
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College students are weird. There is no denying it. Even just the concept of paying thousands of dollars in hopes of being able to pay it off sometime over the next thirty years is pretty weird. There are a lot of other parts of being a college student that definitely does not fit in with societal norms. Here are some of the strangest.

1. Asking a stranger to watch your stuff

Whether you're in the library or the dining hall, you don't want to leave your stuff unattended. You've got your laptop and expensive textbooks to take care of. Of course, it isn't fun to pack everything up just to run to the bathroom either. Even socially awkward college students step out of their shell to call someone out to watch their stuff. Before college, this would have been so weird. Why trust someone you don't know? Well, it's better than leaving it there without telling someone your stuff is there, and you don't want it taken.


2. Saving Takeout Containers

College students are poor. We don't have the money to be buying fancy Tupperware all of the time. It's so much easier to save the container my Kung Pao Chicken came in and use it to hold leftover pizza.


3. Sneaking Food Out of the Dining Hall

Yeah, the rule about buffet dining halls is that you don't take food out, but what else are you to do with all of those takeout containers you've been saving. I will say it again and probably 1,000 more times: college students are poor. That dining plan isn't cheap. We have to see it through that we are getting out money's worth of food. While most people would never take food out of a buffet at a restaurant, somehow it seems much more legitimate to take food out of the dining hall.


4. Napping in Public

Napping in public sounds kind of scary at first. After you have been studying in the library four six or seven hours, sometimes, you just have to put your head down for a minute or thirty. It always feels like someone s going to come mess with you, but as long as you can find a quiet corner, you should be fine. If you're lucky, some friends will watch over you to make sure nothing happens. Sometimes you just need the extra ten minutes of shuteye before your next class, but you don't have time to run back to your dorm.


5. Jumping at the sound of anything free

Free food, free coffee, free WiFi... The list goes on. I can't tell you how many free stress ball I've collected from groups on campus. I have at least ten. If becomes almost an obsession. "Did you know they are handing out free ice cream for anyone who listens to a guy talk about how important it is to ride your bike?" Sign me up! "If you donate your kidney, they will give you free Chipotle." I didn't really need two anyway.


6. Joking About Your Condition

Maybe this isn't the best of things that college students do. It's easy to pretend that you're okay when you actually have three tests, a quiz, two papers, and a speech all due in two days, and you also have to avoid eye contact with that someone who lives in your dorm because you think you offended them somehow. On one hand, this is SO relatable. Every college student feels like this at some point. On the other hand, know when you need to get some help. Most colleges have a counseling center. Worst case scenario, you call a hotline and just talk to someone to help you work things out. Your work is important, but so is your mental condition. If you find yourself overly stressing out, it might be time to look for some help.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-coffee-meeting-team-7096/

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