Why did you choose BBE/SSM while attending the University of Minnesota?
I really wanted to choose a major that would allow me to make an impact. I have always been very passionate about environmental issues and when I found this major I knew I had found my home. I have never once regretted making that choice and it has set me on a path that has allowed me to do a wide variety of interesting work.
Where do you currently work, and what do you do?
I work at 3M in the Environmental, Health, and Safety department. I am currently a system owner for our Environmental, Health, and Safety compliance activities. Many of my activities on a daily basis involve connecting with folks to either develop tools or coach them in using them. I get to interact with people all around the globe and work towards common goals.
How has your education from BBE/SSM impacted or influenced your life and career?
The knowledge and connections I gained from my education has opened many doors. It is a well respected program that allows me to pursue careers in all sectors. I have former classmates that are now colleagues and many connections that are working on very interesting topics all over the country. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn and grow in such a supportive environment.
What are one or two of your proudest professional or personal accomplishments that occurred after graduating from BBE/SSM in which your education played a role?
I am currently holding a Board of Directors position on the conservation board for the lake I grew up on. Thanks to my education, I have the rounded knowledge to help guide the lake through conservation efforts and through some tough decisions. My degree gave me the full picture understanding of real world environmental issues and how to approach them in ways I am just learning to fully appreciate.
What advice do you have for current or future students interested in pursuing a similar career in your field?
My advice for students in this field would be to follow your interests and be relentless in pursuing your goals. Your skills are increasingly coveted and broadly applicable. It is a wide open field with countless paths you can take. Find something that gives you personal satisfaction and don't be afraid to make changes to get you there.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with the BBE/SSM community?
The world needs more folks looking to make a difference. You can be proud that you are on (or took) the path to make that happen.