Name: Josh Love, U.S. Geological Service Pathways intern at the Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory
College: Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS)
Hometown: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
What did you do post high school, prior to becoming an OSU student?
I had a lifelong dream of becoming a professional skateboarder. After 20+ years of pursuing that dream, my first pro model was released by my favorite skateboard company (The Killing Floor Skateboards) in spring 2021.
Like most skateboarders, I have always worked random jobs while working on skate video projects in my free time.
I was a custodian/housekeeper for about six years, I worked in warehouses, restaurants, retail and rideshares. I dreaded having to work minimum wage jobs forever and decided to try out some college courses in 2017.
How did you find your way from skateboarding to studying geology?
My friend Jasmin, who works in environmental consulting, encouraged me to take a geology course at Portland Community College in 2018. My first geology professor, Dr. Lalo Guerrero, completed his PhD at OSU. His enthusiasm for CEOAS converted me into becoming a Beaver.
Tell us about your current internship.
The Pathways internship position is with the Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory in New Mexico. ASL is responsible for maintaining a large portion of the Global Seismographic Network.
At the lab, I am working on an experiment using broadband seismometers under the guidance of Dr. Robert Anthony and Dr. Adam Ringler. We are investigating how increasing the depth of a borehole seismometer attenuates unwanted noise in seismic data, which often comes form things like wind, anthropogenic activity, and variation in temperature and barometric pressure. I will be presenting our results at the American Geophysical Union meeting in December 2022, and will be finishing up my degree from OSU remotely from Albuquerque while continuing the internship.
“The work challenges me on a daily basis, but I am learning a ton and I have very patient and supportive mentors.”Josh Love, Oregon State geology student
How did you land your internship?
Toward the end of winter 2022 the Career Development Center hosted a panel of government scientists where they discussed how to get a job with the government, along with what it is like to work in government positions.
I have applied to many student trainee internships with the USGS prior to attending that panel and my application was always rejected before getting passed up to the hiring manager.
This time, I applied some of the advice that I received in that discussion about how to adjust my CV and cover letter, and later that week I applied to this internship. I ended up getting an interview and was offered the position.
What other experiences helped you successfully get the job?
Aside from the information that I received while attending the panel discussion, I believe two other things were important for getting this internship:
- I stated very specific goals that I have in mind for graduate school in my application, and discussed how the skills I would learn at ASL would be valuable for graduate school.
- I have been working on an undergraduate research project at OSU with Dr. Jessica Creveling. We are investigating marine terraces in Newport, Oregon.
I do not come from an academic family or community, and Dr. Creveling has been incredibly encouraging and helpful when I need advice (along with many others, such as her entire lab group, Gabe Gordon, Emily Cahoon, and Andrew Meigs). I would not have received this internship position had she not given me such valuable research experience at OSU, as well as the confidence in myself to pursue things that are outside of my comfort zone.
What’s next for you?
What I plan to do with my geology degree has varied throughout my undergrad, but working for the USGS at some point has always been at the top of my list. I am interested in tectonics and active faulting. I would like to research fault systems in order to contribute to Probablistic Seismic Hazard Analyses, ideally for a government agency.
I plan to begin grad school in fall 2023 to continue working toward this goal.
Resources for landing a government job or internship
Interested in pursuing a government job or internship? OSU’s Career Development Center can help you tailor your application materials to successfully apply to opportunities with state and federal agencies.
Downloadable info sheets
Tips for state government job applications
Tips for federal job applications
More government job tips
Sample résumés (including federal résumés)
“Getting a Dam Job” is OSU’s signature career workshop series, designed to equip students with the skills they need to find jobs and internships. Topics vary each term, and workshops on getting government jobs are offered each year.
See this term’s Getting a Dam Job workshops
Panel Discussion: How Do I Get a Government Job?
Wonder how to get your foot in the government door? Tips for USAJobs? How to go from seasonal to full time? What a day in the life looks like? This Q&A discussion tackles questions from OSU students.