Caroline Cloud is a recent graduate of ASU, currently using her unique sustainability degree in a full-time job in one of the country’s busiest national parks.
Where are you working and where is it located?
I work as a Risk and Sustainability Specialist for Xanterra Travel Collection, based out of Yellowstone National Park. I am assigned to work at Lake and Canyon Village, within Yellowstone.
What helped you land your job?
My degree makes me stand out substantially. Sustainability is a new degree around the country, but ASU has had it for over 10 years. They have it down to a science when it comes to preparing students for graduation.
I also had two sustainability-related internships, both of which were out of my comfort zone. I learned how to do things I never thought I could accomplish before, such as prepare a greenhouse gas emissions inventory. They each helped boost my confidence and gave me experience essential for graduating college and entering the workforce. With a diverse background in several areas, I could apply to virtually any job and revert to those internships and the experiences I gained.
What are your career aspirations?
Currently, my career aspirations include feeling fulfilled in my position and knowing I can make a difference, as cliche as that may sound. One day, I would like to have my own business focusing on sustainability practices.
What is a normal day like at your job?
There isn’t a typical day in my position. In Yellowstone, my position is new and still evolving, so I’m lucky enough to mold it to the way it works best for myself and my supervisors.
I am the “boots on the ground” position for the sustainability and risk management departments, so I conduct daily walk-throughs of my location and make sure everything is cohesive across the board regarding sustainability, for example, water and energy conservation and waste diversion from the landfill. I also check security logs on a daily basis and follow up with any incident reports on location.
What is the most useful/interesting thing you’ve learned so far?
I have learned a lot about risk management in a corporate setting in a short amount of time. Safety is something all companies must prioritize, and it’s essential for its success.
What is it like working in such a unique setting?
Working in Yellowstone is amazing! While it may not be for everyone, and work/life balance is a challenge at times, my time spent after work is not wasted indoors and it’s been a great experience thus far.
What advice would you give to other students to help them get a job after graduation?
Don’t be afraid to take a job away from home or out of your comfort zone. If you’re qualified, apply.
Why did you choose ASU?
I applied to ASU because of the School of Sustainability. I wanted a degree in sustainability, something asking, “why, and how can we change this?” My degree does exactly that.