Hey Alyssa, I just started a blog to help women pursuing a fire career. It is still a work in progress but maybe itll be of some help. You can e-mail me too if you want and I can give you some advice. The blog is FIREWOMENINFO.WORDPRESS.COM and my email is email@example.com. Hope to hear from you and good luck!
See if you can find a department that caters to college students. Internships are common with several suburbs of Madison Wisconsin. Some internships include:
I was in your shoes a few years ago. What I would do is this.
Go get your Paramedic. Even if you don't know if you would like it.
Then go get your FF I/II/Hazmat ops/tech and then continue with your degree after that. As soon as your a medic and have your basic FF classes you can start to test. I recommend testing everywhere you can. Even if you don't want to work for that city. You can practice that way and get your test scores up.
Work on your interview skills and stay in great physical shape. Be ready to get hired and gointo a academy with the physical skills needed to make it through the 12-16 week academy.
You sound like you have the drive, so don't get discuraged if you don't get a job right away. It took me 6 years to finally land a great job! But before that I worked on a voly and worked in a large metro area as a medic gaining great expierence in the years I was testing for a job.