Teshawn Lee graduated with a degree in sustainable materials and technology in 2020. He is a member of the U.S. Army National Guard and plans to work in a sustainability-related profession.
We reached out to Teshawn to learn more about his experience at the College of Natural Resources and his plans for the future.
What career plans do you have for the future?
My career plans are split between the civilian world and the military since I am a member of the National Guard component of the U.S. Army. On the military side, I currently am preparing to go to Armor Basic Officer Leader Course (ABOLC) in order to be qualified for the position of platoon leader of a team of 20 soldiers in a tank troop here in North Carolina.
On the civilian side, I have aspirations to work in the sustainability sector. The evaluation of industry processes and ensuring that their impact on the environment doesn’t come as a detriment is crucial for me. Once I return from ABOLC later this year, I hope to lock in my civilian position at a willing company or agency.
How did the College of Natural Resources prepare you for your future career?
The College of Natural Resources provided a myriad of faculty and staff who had my success in mind. A huge indication of a quality organization, in my opinion, is the feeling of camaraderie between its members. I found that and so much more in the College of Natural Resources.
Along with that familial environment, I was given a challenging curriculum that broadened my view of pressing issues that plague our world and how we as innovators can make necessary changes to solve these issues. That knowledge is invaluable in being a member of a team or a team leader within an industry. And I believe that the College of Natural Resources did a fantastic job in preparing me for the challenges ahead.
What inspired you to study sustainable materials and technology?
Sustainability is the future and the world is quickly realizing how important it is to set up our successors for success. The sustainable materials and technology program at NC State directly tackles the challenge of global sustainability, and after reviewing its curriculum, I saw that it was the program for me.
Another huge draw for me was the versatility of the program. Through sustainable materials and technology I learned the principles of sustainability, applied engineering, economics and technology, all of which are major sectors in their own right.
How did your involvement in Army ROTC shape your college experience?
Army ROTC was a major factor in my college experience. During my time in Army ROTC, I learned to lead, plan and organize. I have used army principles to bolster teamwork in both military and non-military environments, which set me apart from my peers.
Thanks to Army ROTC, I have had the opportunity to rappel, use advanced simulators, meet foreign service members as well as a cabinet secretary. I even had the opportunity through Army ROTC to bring back the Pershing Rifles unit to NC State, of which the great General Hugh Shelton, the founder of the Shelton Leadership Center here on campus, was a member when he was a cadet.
What advice do you have for current College of Natural Resources students?
Never be complacent. Ask questions, challenge yourself and others. You have the ability to be an agent of change both in the College of Natural Resources and at NC State as a whole. Explore, discover and pave a path to new and exciting frontiers. Your possibilities are endless and you are the only thing stopping you from achieving your goals. That being said, never give up and keep moving forward.