For those who think you have to have graduated with your college degree to start a job in your field, think again.
USF senior Susana Alvarado, just got hired by Tampa Bay Water as a co-op in the water conservation department. Her position will allow require her to support the research, development and implementation of water conservation programs in the tri-county region, manage correspondence with member governments, participate in public speaking engagements related to water conservation programs and work with and learn from leading professional engineering technicians and ecologists.
All this, with still a year left to go to complete her bachelors degree in environmental science and policy.
Alvarado will be able to keep the job as long as she remains a student at USF and said that the position will help her be more competitive in the job market for environmental science and policy jobs and give her an edge in her graduate school application.
“As an environmental science and policy student, I've learned how policy works and how important it is to develop and implement environmental policy,” Alvarado said. “This position will allow me to come up with Best Management practices to better conserve water in the Tampa Bay area. I am still learning a lot of what the job entitles and am in no way an expert yet, but the first two weeks on the job will require that I read, read, and read about the company and policy of water conservation.”
She also hopes this experience will help her attain her ultimate career goal of teaching environmental science and policy at the college level.
“Without environmental education, our future generations won't be able to deal and solve the environmental problems being faced.,” Alavarado said. “I am passionate about this because I grew up in Puerto Rico seeing the beauty of nature and how a healthy ecosystem enhances the quality of life in a community. I've also seen it being destroyed and this would not happen if our students were educated enough and knew how to respond to it. “
Prior to landing co-op position, Alvarado was and is the resident assistant for the Green Living and Learning Community at USF, an area of residential housing where like-minded students live together and work towards making the university a greener place to live and go to school.
She was also recognized as a Sustainability Scholar by the Office of Sustainability at USF. Aside from working at the co-op this summer, the proactive, green student will be working with the Honors College as a peer mentor for incoming honors college students.
“I am very excited for that job as I'll get to meet lots of new students and getting to help them with their first semester schedules will be rewarding,” Alvarado said.
Alvarado has helped put USF on the map as a green school by participating in several programs:
- Recycling at the USF Homecoming Football game for the Environmental Protection Agency Game Day Challenge in 2010
- Student Green Energy Fund Referendum- passed by 70 percent and begins in Fall 2011.
Alvarado is also an active member of the Student Environmental Association at USF, which is heavily involved with all the green programs and policies on campus.
“I personally feel that USF is a green being that we were awarded a GOLD STAR as well as included in the top Green universities in the nation,” Alvarado said. “However, I feel that the main reason our university is green is because of the administrative, faculty, staff, and student involvement in making the university sustainable.”
In addition to her heavy involvement at USF as both a student and a leader, Alvarado loves to knit, take nature photos and scrapbook and make jewelry. She is also an active member of Cornerstone Christian church as a member and Bible study leader.
“I am passionate about both the environment and bible study leading as I see a connection between being a born-again Christian who has a relationship with God and a great steward of the environment,” Alvarado said. “Reaching college students through sharing the gospel and caring for the environment are both causes that I am passionate about because my motivation for both is because of my love for my creator.