Past Student Share their Experiences
Figuring out if a summer with SHaRP is a good fit for you can be a tough decision by just reading program information on a website. Here are some reflections from Team Leaders and Crew Members to give you a better feel for what it's like.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge of being a supervisor?
A: One of them is definitely being organized. As a Team Leader, you're the person organizing your team’s itinerary. If you don’t know what you’re doing that day, you waste your own time but four other people’s time as well. You’re accountable for your work and the work of others so you definitely have to be organized and plan ahead.
Q: Are there any memorable moments that jump out at you?
A: I am excited about water quality monitoring, I’ve always wanted to do stuff like that. It’s really cool to see the physical side of what I have studied in my text books for so many years.
Q: What do you like about community education?
A: I really enjoy being out in the community and talking to people. It’s fun because every day you meet new people. Sometimes you’ll get those moments where you meet a kid and they tell you “I met you, you were at Fusion Festival!” I like the connection with people and I love the education aspect of the job. Teaching community members about sustainability and environmental stewardship is really rewarding.
Q: What was your first impression when you joined the program?
A: I was actually pretty nervous because I didn’t realize we would have so much freedom. Basically the day-to-day SHaRP activities are run by the Team Leaders and we are making the calls. Decisions we make will affect how successful the SHaRP program will be. I’ve never had that amount of responsibility before.
Q: What do you feel was your toughest assignment?
A: Watershed’s toughest assignment was definitely our biggest site, which is in the Campbell Heights area. There was a lot of work that needed to be done like beaver fencing, weir construction, and invasive plant removal. It was a pretty huge job to tackle and we were tasked with creating an organized plan of action.
Q: What do you hope to achieve in SHaRP?
A: This summer I hope to promote SHaRP to the best of my abilities and so far I have a lot of successes contacting the media. I’ve been in contact with television producers, reporters, bloggers, and community members. It’s pretty cool to see my writing and photos appear in newspapers and web articles. It's rewarding to know that your efforts are making a difference.
Q: How does it feel to be a role model to your Crew Members?
A: As a supervisor I like to lead by example. If I want my crew to do something, I do it with them and make sure it’s something I would want to do as a Crew Member. Also, if you’re expecting them to wear their safety equipment all the time, you need to be wearing your safety equipment as well.
Q: What do you hope to achieve in your work this summer?
A: I think the best part about this is when we take a picture of the site and it’s completely covered with invasive plants and hasn’t been touched and compare it to the end result. Once we finish and all the invasive plants have been cut out, it looks like we completed a lot of work. It feels very rewarding, it’s definitely a rush.
Q: Why do you feel being a SHaRP Crew Member is a good job?
A: Any other job, like working in a retail store, you feel like you’re not accomplishing much because you’re just selling clothes. I’m actually doing something that benefits the environment now so it’s a big deal to me.
Q: Why did you apply for the SHaRP program?
A: I applied for the SHaRP program because I heard that it was fun. When I first found out about it at school I thought it was a good opportunity for me to work in the field that I'm interested in. I’m enrolled in SFU’s Environmental Science Program and so it’s a good jumpstart for me.
Q: What was your first thought when you started at SHaRP?
A: For the first day I like how many other students were in the same situation as I am. It’s nice to be working with a group of my peers and learning from people I can relate to, my Team Leader is older than me but I feel comfortable being able to work things out with her.
Q: What is it like working with the Community Education Team?
A: I love the Com Ed Team because it’s so diverse. I get to work with kids one day, and adults the next and each day I get to explain completely different things. It’s really nice to keep things fresh and switch it up.
Q: What was the most surprising thing you learned in SHaRP?
A: I have learned so many things. For example, I didn’t know that washing your car can actually make an impact on salmon when it goes down the storm drain.
Q: How is the experience interacting with the public?
A: I really like it. It feels great when people come to our tent and we meet people who come in that never knew about Surrey’s salmon habitats but appreciate the information we have and are eager to learn. It feels great to know that you made a difference.
Q: So what’s been your toughest assignment so far?
A: It’s a challenge writing press releases and media advisories because I’ve never written them before, but I’m learning and my Team Leader has taught me a lot of new things. We also do a lot of collaboration on design. The final products of my designs are not always smooth but I’m getting used to the creative process. It’s nice knowing the work I do helps to support the program at large.
If these experiences sound fun and rewarding to you, it may be time for you to come join us too. Find out more about the job opportunities and how to apply.
If you still have questions or you're still not sure about joining us then you can call 604-591-4383 and ask for more details.