Hi there, I’m Marnelli Taasin and I am currently a student trainee working in Administrative Management with the USGS in Hawaii. I am also a part-time MBA student at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU), studying towards a concentration in Management. My life as an MBA student and USGS employee is definitely busy, but very rewarding. It is busy due to the strong need to manage my workload from both school and work, but it is also very rewarding because of the many challenges that turn into accomplishments after hard work and perseverance.
How did you start working for the USGS?
The opportunity to become an employee for the USGS was given to me by one of my professors at HPU when I was about to graduate with my BSBA in Accounting and Finance. I was very fortunate when my professor approached me with the chance to work for the USGS because I was looking for a great place to gain real-world experience and enhance the skills and knowledge I learned while in college. After I completed my undergraduate degree, I enrolled in the MBA program at HPU and became a USGS employee through the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP). I now work at the USGS Pacific Islands Water Science Center (PIWSC).
What is a day in your life like?
A day working for the PIWSC is never the same, and this is one of the reasons why I call the USGS a place for learning and growth. While I know I still have a lot to learn, the duties that I’ve been provided so far continue to challenge my overall knowledge and improve the quality of my skills.
I always start my mornings by pulling up the Administrative Calendar on my computer just so I get a good perspective of the work that needs to be accomplished that day, what needs to be completed by the end of the month, and so forth. Working for the USGS has definitely led me to an environment of multi-tasking and engaging in daily activities such as: the reconciliation of charge card statements, payment of all referencing and non-referencing invoices, generating down payment requests for cooperators, inputting purchase requisitions, working with sales and purchase orders, preparing monthly budget-expense reports, and managing vehicle records. In addition, my responsibilities as a student trainee have expanded to assisting with budget management and development with thorough guidance and support from the rest of the PIWSC administrative team.
What is your most memorable experience with the USGS so far?
So far, one of the most memorable experiences with the USGS was having the privilege of training in the mainland to prepare for the newly implemented Financial and Business Management System (FBMS). I’ve lived in Hawaii the majority of my life, and having been given the chance to train in California and Washington State made me realize that there is a much bigger world out there to learn from and explore. During training, I met a number of USGS employees from other states who shared a lot of their knowledge and experiences with me. I enjoyed every minute of training and meeting these great people, who have impacted my career goals more than they will ever know.
What do you see as the most valuable part of your work?
The USGS is comprised of many teams working together to fulfill its mission. The administrative responsibilities I perform for the USGS highly support the planning associated with its science and research. In order to provide reliable scientific information, project funds need to be well spent and appropriately managed. In addition, the ability to monitor the inflow and outflow of these funds assures that the scientific data offered by the USGS is done in the most cost-effective manner possible.
What are your future plans?
I will graduate with my MBA in 2013 from HPU, and the first thing I am going to embrace is the fact that I will now have no homework to do after getting off work. Aside from this though, I would love to start working full-time in the Administrative Management field and get more involved in community activities. I work with a lot of great people here in Honolulu, and some of us have already participated in two small marathons as a group. I definitely plan on continuing to stay active and promoting a healthy lifestyle in addition to learning more about budget management and development.
Why is the USGS a good place for students to work?
The USGS is a great place for youth and students to establish a career, because it’s not only an agency of science, but also an agency of support and mentoring. As a student, the USGS will support your education and definitely enhance the skills and knowledge you’ve learned in school. Its environment will also teach you to become a great team member as well as a leader, and this mentoring will always benefit the goals you want to accomplish in life.
What would you like people to know about the USGS?
What I want people to know about the USGS is the fact that it is more than just an agency. It is a family that consists of people from all across the nation. Each person that is a part of the USGS family contributes and plays a role in fulfilling its mission to provide high-quality scientific information. Working together is what we do best and sharing our knowledge with one another and the public is what we are known for.