The Reason Anyone Can and Should Join Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa

By Sidney Hauck, Recruitment Capacity Building Specialist/ AmeriCorps Member with Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa through the Individual Placement program

Generalists triumph in a specialized world.

This is the subtitle to David Epstein’s book Range. This book looks at the data and research behind why someone should explore and gain a breadth of experiences. Even if you don’t want to do natural resource work for your future career, that should never stop you from exploring experiences such as Conservation Corps.

Since being sophomores in high school, many of us are taught to find a college and declare a major we want to pursue, leading to a job we will hold for the rest of our lives. David Epstein shows that people who generalize and experiment in many different careers and interests will surpass the specialists who have been learning only the depth of one subject.

In a world where we are constantly pressured to always know what we want to be doing in 10 years, this book is reassuring and interesting to me.

“Our work preferences and our life preferences do not stay the same, because we do not stay the same.” ― David Epstein

Now, maybe everyone who finishes a term with Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa goes into natural resources work and comes from a degree in the field. Or maybe, the experiences and lessons learned here can be used in any field you wish to pursue. For instance, Honorable Judge Louis Thayer who pursued a law degree after serving with Conservation Corps and served as a Human Services Judge. Or Kristi Monsour who after Conservation Corps was inspired to get her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. These and many other alumni left their term with a new outlook on life and the skills they needed to pursue what they wanted. One Field Crew and Individual Placement alum said they learned “how to make informed decisions and problem solve on the job”. One Field Crew alum learned “how to manage time effectively while working with a team and independently”. Skills such as people management and problem-solving are actually on a list of the Top 10 skills to thrive in any career in 2020.

All these skills and many more are what sets Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa apart from other opportunities. We are focused on providing you with leadership development and hands-on learning that can lead to any career. Because no one’s life is linear and on the same path as the one another.

Just keep in mind that any position you hold in life won’t determine who you are or the path you are on and anyone can join Conservation Corps, even if you majored in computer science.

“The precise person you are now is fleeting, just like all the other people you’ve been.” ― David Epstein