It’s hard to imagine graduation the first year of college but it really swoops in. Now that I only have one semester left of my college career, all the questions are getting kicked up: what are you plans? have you locked down a job? will you move back home?

It’s like an interrogation from whoever you share your college life with, be prepared. And know that it’s okay to be uncertain. My geology senior seminar was a great help for getting prepared for post-grad. We had alumni geology majors come to speak about their professions and the path they took after graduation.

On alum worked with a non-profit after grad because she was really passionate about the environmental–and an income was important but her mission to create physical change felt more so. Before this presentation, I wasn’t fully aware of all the opportunities in non-profits. I found it very uplifting that it in a field driven by passion for action. I don’t think I see myself going into a new, just established non-profit but I could see myself getting involved in grass root support. I thought her journey and commitment to her non-profit is very inspiring. There are non-profits everywhere and it is a good field to hear experience from. After the presentation, I am interested in looking for non-profit that stem from environmental education and outreach; passion in the field of education interests me the most. It was intimidating to wrestle with the idea of having a job that doesn’t include benefits but is extremely valuable work, especially when non-profits support local ideas and a great local atmosphere for a place. Her story of living in a vamped-up van does frame non-profit work well and with increasing interest in finding meaningful work, such commitment is at the core of non-profits is the understanding I gained after her talk. I’m still curious around the creation and maintenance a non-profit requirements of founders but her talk was very informational around what non-profit work looks like when there is enough people to form a good working body.

Another notable talk came from Dr. Kat Compton. Her presentation talked about her journey into public service via federal employment. She works at the EPA in the Pollution prevention program as an administrator. Her position looks at resource consumption and takes into consideration everyday waste possibilities before complete and unrecycled removal. She also deals with many smaller programs and is a grant funds overseer. I found her presentation to be a lot more conducive to a realistic outlook on our upcoming years. I enjoyed the EPA update and her take on the political obstacles in a federal job in a controversial department for this current administration. I like that she emphasized that time is there to search for purpose but reaching out is very important for networking and getting recognized. I can see a federal job in my future, but I understand a better picture of what it means to be a federal employee under changing political conditions. I feel like a career in a federal branch for me looks like something in the DNR.

Charlie Hammonds was another. His talk took the whole basket for me. His educational experience is most like mine, or at least in intensions (because he started out in a generalized geology/earth science interest). His path to landslide consulting seems like one many people who came into geology without any previous experience—like a parent in the business or early, private education—tend to trend towards. Charlie’s breakdown of a geological disaster, the Rattlesnake Ridge landslide, was comprehensible and inspiring because I understood what he was talking about. I feel like a big introduction to field work for me can come through monitoring stations and set-up for surficial processes since a lot of consulting and environmental safety regulations rely on “boots on the ground” work and while integrating applied geology, working my up a consulting ladder is a new vision I got for my future from Charlie’s talk. His key points about the important work besides science on the job was also a great thing. I can imagine now more positions behind the scenes of just licensed geologists, because behind them is another team of logistics and organization. This talk really illuminated other parts of the deep geologic chest of jobs and work possible.

So really reach out to professors to share their stories and know that every one in your field of study takes their path and purposed seriously but in all different ways.

Happy New Year!