San Jose Conservation Corps

Performance Monitoring & Evaluation Fellow

June - August 2021 • San Jose, CA

What I liked

I like that we got the opportunity to connect and mingle with the other project fellows as well as the Corps members and staff - both of whom have been friendly and supportive to us. The projects were guided, but primarily self-directed and a lot of fun. They were challenging, but taught me to be more independent, resourceful, and team-oriented. In addition, I got to intermingle with fellows from other projects so I'm not restricted to just my own project. I got to learn how to compost food waste, how people are delivering and storing rescued food, and so on. In essence, I got to go outside my comfort zone and try out different projects, even if I was assigned to Performance Monitoring & Evaluation.

What I wish was different

I wished the onboarding process wasn't so haphazardly thrown together. For example, for online orientation, I was told to get fingerprint scanned as soon as possible without a clear deadline for submitting my fingerprint scans. Then, the next day, they immediately announced the deadline to be two days from when they did the online orientation, which meant I had to scramble to get an available fingerprint scan appointment (especially since they get heavily booked fairly quickly so it can be hard to find one immediately). Luckily, I was able to find an available fingerprint scan service quickly and get onboarded on-time. I get that it's their first time assembling the fellowship program, but it could be better organized with clear deadlines and instructions for getting onboarded and dealing with the paperwork that comes with it.


Don't be afraid to ask questions and network with other fellows and Corps members. They're figuring it out just as you are. You're not alone so feel free to connect and engage with them. At the end of the day, you're here to form community and be able to take part in valuable and fulfilling projects that play key roles in addressing sustainability and environmental issues. It's tough work, but rewarding and fun in the long run.
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