"I have been on 4 GREEN program trips and every single time I go on one it is like my internal direction in life is reset and I remember why I went to school for engineering and what I want to accomplish with my life."
Describe a personal experience that has indirectly or directly influenced your career path.
The reason I decided to study Engineering was because I lived in El Salvador for 2 years and the lack of access to some basic wants and needs was disheartening. I wanted to be able to do something about it.
How has GREEN play a role in shaping your professional endeavors?
The GREEN program has vastly helped me in my professional endeavors. Because of my experience and capstone project from my first GREEN program trip I got my first internship and job after graduating. Not only that but the people I have met and befriended have provided me with a network of likeminded peers from all over the world that I can tap into.
Describe your dream job.
I am equally interested in math and science as I am in art and making things. I would love to work in R&D on water treatment/energy storage/pollution control/etc. I love doing experiments. I also greatly enjoy humanitarian projects so I would be just as happy working in some remote village somewhere for the rest of my life.
What is the biggest take-away and/or favorite part of your GREEN program experience?
My two favorite things about the GREEN program are meeting people who share my same desires and goals in life and the fresh perspective the GREEN program gives me. It is so easy to forget why we originally wanted to do something and we often get caught up the ebb and flow of the everyday stresses that weigh us down. I have been on 4 GREEN program trips and every single time I go on one it is like my internal direction in life is reset and I remember why I went to school in Engineering and what I want to accomplish with my life.
What does #onlyontheGREENprogram mean to you?
Only on the green program do you get to lay in a geothermal hot spring in the Highlands of Iceland at 3:00 in the morning with the sun still up talking about sustainable energy with people who were complete strangers 3 days earlier but are now some of your closest friends.
Tell us about your Capstone Project experience and initiative.
My first Capstone was in Costa Rica and it was on building biogas generators on dairy farms throughout Costa Rica to provide a way to harness the biogas to either cook or produce electricity for farmers. After that trip for my senior project I proposed we build a biogas reactor for our doing experiments in senior lab but it was unsuccessful. I don’t think they wanted the lab smelling like farts. My second Capstone was in Iceland and was on building aquaponics/ greenhouses in more rural parts of Iceland for co-production of fish and produce for local residents.
What is your best piece of advice that you would give to a student interested in sustainable development?
I would say get involved any way you can whether that be volunteer work or applying for internships or joining groups or clubs at your university. You have to find a way to get your foot in the door.