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.”