Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Exeter, CA
Program Position: Adventure Outings Trip Leader and Wildcat Wilderness Orientation Student Coordinator
How did you first get connected with Adventure Outings (AO)?
My first tastes of AO came during my freshman year when I went on a sea kayaking trip, a caving trip and a couple of day hikes. I had a great time and really respected what AO did in terms of giving students and community members alike the opportunity to experience the outdoors in new ways. Almost immediately after going on my first trip I knew that this was an organization I wanted to be apart of. And well, the rest is history!
How would you describe your dual role as a Trip Leader and a Wildcat Wilderness Orientation (WWO) Manager?
As a Trip Leader (TL) you are given the prospect of creating the trip experience for yourself and others; whether that is through route planning, activities carried out on the trip, or itinerary planning. Ultimately, the trips are the participants’ who paid for it, but as a TL you ensure that the balance of safety, fun, and adventure are managed in a professional manner.
As the WWO Student Coordinator I worked closely with other AO staff to craft an outdoor orientation program consisting of four curriculum-based trips for incoming Chico State students. I basically managed eight outdoor leaders over the course of the 2014 summer. The work required extensive scheduling, knowledge of trip locations, relating program goals, defining objectives and outcomes with professional staff, and general project management skills.
What does working at AO do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
Working for AO gives me a lot of personal satisfaction and sense of accomplishment. When I initially observed the opportunities available to me in AO I was also very aware of how much time my major would require of me. Since I know that I am someone who needs to take a break in the outdoors to balance my life, I realized that combining my thirst of adventure with a job would be accomplishing two important things at once. Also sharing the outdoors with people is gratifying by allowing you to transfer the sense of amazement and respect you have for Mother Nature to others.
What do YOU bring to the table in your roles as a Trip Leader and a Wildcat Wilderness Orientation Manager?
I am a very organized person and I have a lot of experience in the outdoors, particularly with backpacking and camping. Growing up my family and I went on quite a few trips that allowed me to hone my outdoor skills and learn to live simply and be comfortable without modern day amenities. These experiences have instilled in me positive values that I can share with others. I feel very comfortable and peaceful in the outdoors and I would like to think that I transfer a lot of those same feelings to those just getting to know true nature.
What are your career plans and how does your job with the Associated Students better prepare you for that path?
I hope to utilize my Mechanical Engineering BS in some capacity. My love for nature has led me down a passionate path of wanting to preserve it by negating human races’ impact as much as possible. I therefore am extremely interested in alternative energy and how it can be incorporated into our lives. I see myself ending up somewhere between electric cars, solar energy generation, or bicycles. Whatever I end up doing it will be for the benefit of this planet.
Working for the AS and AO as a TL and WWO Student Coordinator has given me a lot of Project Management skills that I can take with me to industry. From setting program goals and milestones, to planning dates and actually performing the planned tasks, I can do it all. The entire project/program process is now very familiar to me.