Bret Jensen

Major: Health Education
Hometown: Brentwood, CA
Class: Senior
Program Position: Zero Waste Education Coordinator, AS Sustainability

How did you first get connected with AS Sustainability?
My first semester here at Chico State in the spring of 2012, I was looking for a way to get involved on campus. After hearing the AS Sustainability recruitment talk done in Dr. Flannery’s class, I walked into BMU 301 and applied to be a Zero Waste Task Force intern. At the end of that semester, my predecessor Steve Westbrook graduated, and so I applied for the position of Zero Waste Education Coordinator. And the rest is history.

How would you describe your current role with AS Sustainability?
I would describe my role as Zero Waste Education Coordinator as a great and fulfilling learning experience. I supervise three interns a semester and work with AS Dining and Recycling to reduce waste by examining purchasing practices and recycling infrastructure. Not only do I get to help the Associated Students reach the important goal of Zero Waste by 2015 and learn about what it takes to accomplish such a large goal, but I get to practice and sharpen my team leader skills and overall leadership style.

What does working for AS Sustainability do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
My position allows me to be a part of something which is both bigger than me and pushes to make real change. An experience like that is invaluable. I’ve also had opportunities to network with people in the field and become exposed to sustainability on a larger scale. Working in a professional setting and becoming familiarized with what it takes to work in that environment will surely be beneficial to any future career opportunities.

What do YOU bring to the table in your position with the Associated Students (AS)?
I bring an eagerness to get things done, and the willingness to do whatever it takes to get those things done. I am open to everyone’s opinion, and I listen to all sides of a discussion to come up with the best plan of action which is important when you are collaborating with multiple groups and people to reach a goal.

What are your career plans and how does your job with the AS better prepare you for that path?
I would like, ultimately, to end up with a career that gives me the opportunity to not only educate people about how their interactions within their environment affect their health and quality of life, but provide them with the means to do something about it. My role within the AS has provided me leadership experience and knowledge regarding how true sustainability does not have to do just with the environment, but all aspects of life. Both of which would be helpful when I land that dream job.