After graduated from high school, not knowing where to go from there, I took a year off to give myself a break to think about the future. During the time, I took part-time jobs and volunteered at Bon secours Memorial Medical center to take a glance of a working environment in healthcare. As I was interacting with patients and hospital staffs, I became interested in pursuing a career where I could feel fulfilled by helping others. So, I decided to enroll in Reynolds Community College and earned an associate degree in science before I transferred to VCU. My first year at VCU was a bit difficult but at the same time, enjoyable. Because I was in biology major and in pre-med track, there were a mixed of courses that what I liked and disliked. I loved phycology and other biology elective courses, but unfortunately not so much in physics and mathematics courses. I managed to earn decent grades, but I knew that dealing with complex formulas and numbers doesn’t suit me at all.
At the almost end of my third semesters at VCU, I started to wonder if being in biology major was a right decision. I wanted to have a career where I could help people, but I was never the one into research type of works. I wasn’t happy with what I was studying and became more uncertain whether I want to pursue a career in medical field. I consulted with my biology counselor and she recommended me a couple of other majors that I could choose while It will allow me to graduate on time, and one of them was Environmental studies. I thought choosing this major would give me an opportunity to explore career fields that I haven’t thought about. Also, the studies about plants and insects always have been one of my biggest interests and I wanted to learn more about how human activities effect on certain species of organisms.
After I switched my major to environmental studies, I learned that there are many environmental related career paths I could choose from. During the previous semester, I took a course about Virginia water quality management. This course specifically designed to focus on careers in wastewater treatment facilities and allow students to learn more about them by making them attend town hall meetings, where local communities and DEQ (Department of Environmental quality) committees join and discuss new policies and concerns. This was a quite unique experience because I was got to see how policies are being made, and able to introduce myself to DEQ committees and Environment consultants. From this experience, I realized the importance of making connections with others when it comes to lending on a job. I always thought that keeping up with good grades should be on the first list, but at the end of this course, I understood that networking is just as equally important as schoolwork.
From my work experiences and class works, I learned that I feel the happiest when I’m at outdoor and working with others. This summer, I was able to get an internship position at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden as a butterfly curator and children educator. My job is mainly to do with informing visitors about both Virginia native and tropical butterflies. I enjoyed myself working at there since I also learned a lot about butterflies while working with horticulture teams. Such as, butterfly life spans, origins and what types of host plant that would attract U.S native butterflies, etc. As I was working, I found a new passion in teaching others, especially young children. I’ve been told by others that I’m very patient and good with taking care of people. And I would like to pursue a career that would be like what I did as children educator.