Why environmental science is the program for me…and maybe you!
Sofia Herczegh is a second-year environmental science student with a double minor in biology and chemistry.
If university programs were a lottery, I’d say I won the jackpot. I’m a second-year environmental science student who absolutely loves her program. Why? Firstly, it’s defined as interdisciplinary, meaning it focuses on courses from four science departments namely, earth science, physical geography, biology and chemistry. And then there are plenty more courses available from other disciplines that you can take as electives, which gives you the opportunity to tailor a degree that fits you perfectly. There’s also lots of room for concentrations and minors, for example I am completing a double minor in Biology and Chemistry, my two favourite subjects. My degree introduces me to many different fields, which employers love and which also equips me with the variety of knowledge needed to solve the environmental issues of today.
Through both my institute and department I have gained critical experience that has already paid off, in terms of impressing employers and securing jobs in my field. Environmental science has two mandatory field courses; one in second year and another in third year, where you use real technology and instruments to measure natural phenomena and practice the proper scientific method. Also available are many seminar courses where classes dive into real case studies and examine the complex socio-economic, political and cultural dimensions of environmental challenges. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a Dean’s Summer Research Internship (DSRI) through the Department of Science in my first year, where I assisted in the research of a Carleton professor and gained valuable experience perfect for my resumé.
As far as programs go, environmental science is on the smaller side, and my year is a tight-knit group of friends who study together and are always helping each other out. I have found myself in a friendly, approachable group and most of my closest friendships are with people I met in my program. Most of my professors know me and my friends by name, and are always available for questions, advice and to offer a different perspective. This is vital for students, like myself, who intend to complete an honours thesis and will be looking for supervisors in third year. Another plus? Finding a reference for a job simply isn’t an issue when you already have working relationships with your professors.
If you need more convincing, consider the applicable nature of this program. We live in a country where environmental consequences must be considered on any new development, and within a society that is growing more and more conscious of the natural environment every day. This equals to job opportunities in spades for graduating environmental scientists, and co-op is also an option for internships and placements during your degree. After all, if you asked university students what they’d like most after they graduate, I think many would say: “a job!”