Can you give a description of what you do and your organization?
I work as an environmental specialist in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama for Vulcan Materials Company. My job is to ensure that all of our operations are being done in a sustainable manner. I also ensure that my areas are in full compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations. The job is a little bit of everything, but I enjoy getting to work with so many people and having new challenges come up each day.
What led you to a natural resources education/career?
My passion for anything and everything outdoors led me to this career path. I knew from an early age that I wanted a job that would allow me to work outside. I am also passionate about sustainability, and so this career path really allowed me to explore different options for pursuing this.
What are you up to now in your job? Any noteworthy projects to discuss? (or any recently completed etc.)?
I am still pretty new in my role, so I haven't been a part of many main projects yet, but I hope to gain more responsibility soon and lead some projects.
Can you reflect on your time and experiences at CSU and how they benefited you?
I absolutely loved my time at CSU. I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and then got my undergraduate degree from Auburn University. However, I wanted to pursue a graduate degree and really wanted to experience something new. I loved the MNRS Program CSU offered, and so I made the move to Fort Collins without knowing anyone here. However, I quickly found myself at home. My time at CSU really allowed me to grow as a person and a professional. I gained a great amount of knowledge and skills in my time as a graduate student at CSU that have allowed me to succeed in my role today.
What advice do you have for current students or recent grads?
To current students, I would recommend you enjoy and take advantage of everything graduate school has to offer. I wish I had capitalized on all the different courses, organizations, and opportunities CSU offers. When I look back on my time at CSU, I feel like I was just in a rush to graduate. Now that I am in a full time position, I wish I had taken more time in school to fully explore all those once in a lifetime opportunities. To recent graduates, I would encourage them to not be discouraged if the first few job opportunities or applications don't work out. I know there can be a lot of pressure to land a job right away, but a lot of times, it takes time to find the right fit for you. It's definitely better to take that time, do your research, and find the opportunity that is right for you.