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Featured Student Works Toward a Career with National Parks

student stands in hallway
Alex Browere is Waubonsee’s Student Success: Featured Student for February.

As a child, Geneva Community High School graduate Alex Browere would go camping with his mom and siblings at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on North Manitou Island in Michigan. Here he discovered the wonder of nature and biology that would create the foundation for a life dedicated to our national parks. Browere is being recognized as Waubonsee’s Student Success: Featured Student for his passion and dedication towards his dream to work full time in our nation’s national parks. 

With a goal to become a biology major, Browere graduated from high school in the summer of 2015 and took his first English class at Waubonsee. “English is not my favorite so I wanted to get it over with,” he laughed. “Working your way through classes can take a bit longer but it allows me to continue working towards my goals.”

As he progressed through his semester, he started looking towards the summer when he knew he would want to get experience in his field. “I knew I wanted to work in a national park over the summer, so in March of 2016, I just started searching the Internet,” Browere said. “I came across CoolWorks.com which is where I found my job at Yellowstone with Under Canvas.”

Under Canvas is a luxury camping experience that provides a unique way to enjoy camping. Here, Browere wore many different hats. With a natural knack for facilitating a great customer service experience, he not only worked with visitors to ensure their stay was comfortable but also did everything from booking reservations, setting up camp sites, managing online accounts, and working in the restaurant. “I’m not a very good cook,” he laughed. “That’s why I mostly stayed in the back room, cutting vegetables.”

As a customer service representative for Under Canvas, he has been able to improve his ability to work with various types of groups and people from all different backgrounds and places.

People from all over the world visit Yellowstone, so he was challenged to come up with creative ways to help people when they needed it, whether it was overcoming a language barrier or accommodating a group with specific requests.

When Yellowstone’s peak season ended, Browere returned to classes at Waubonsee for the fall semester and to his job at 7-Eleven, where he works 32 hours a week. “My professors have been understanding and supportive of my schedule as long as I communicate with them,” he said.

His advice to students? “Listen to your friends but stay focused on your goals. What will you do if you quit school early?”

Browere considers juggling a full work schedule and getting experience in his field to be crucial in achieving his goals. After transferring to and graduating from a four-year university, he plans to seek a permanent job with the national parks. Though he knows it is a lot to handle to maintain his current schedule, he sees his end goal as being more than worth the effort.