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Student Success

Five Questions with Campus As A Classroom Intern Nicole Rosales-Garcia

Nicole Rosales-Garcia

Nicole Rosales-Garcia, a sophomore studying environmental sciences in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NC State, is one of six students in the College of Natural Resources to be selected for the 2022-23 cohort of the Campus As A Classroom program.

For the Campus As A Classroom program, coordinated by the NC State Sustainability Office, students interns will be working on a variety of projects that serve to advance sustainability at NC State. Rosales-Garcia will be developing a campus tree inventory app for the campus community. She is working under the guidance of Stephanie Jeffries, a teaching associate professor of forestry and environmental resources.

We recently spoke with Rosales-Garcia about her experience in the Campus As A Classroom program and how the College of Natural Resources has helped prepare her for the internship. Check out the Q&A below to learn more.

What kinds of things will you be doing during your internship?

I am participating in the campus tree trail project alongside Dr. Stephanie B. Jeffries through the Sustainability Office for my sustainability internship. This means I spend most of my time outdoors, with a couple days a month inside. In this internship, I will ultimately create a campus tree trail that is user-friendly for tourists/students. Most days, I am using the already existing campus tree trail map to locate trees and examine their tree health, make sure their tags are intact and evaluate their location to place them in their appropriate trail as I am creating several.

How did you find out about Campus As A Classroom and why were you interested in it?

I found out about Campus As A Classroom through the Sustainability Office on Instagram. I was also sent an email from Dr. Jeffries herself asking for her students from ES 100 to apply. I was always close with Dr. Jeffries during our field classes in that course. I would ask her questions, have nature-related conversations and get to know her.

I was interested in this internship due to the fact that it was open to any major. Networking has been important to me since I started at NC State. I made friends relatively quickly, and I have never been in such a comfortable environment. I love that through different projects, the program embraces the idea of sustainability and teaches that everyone is impacted regardless of your natural resources or life sciences knowledge.

In what ways did the College of Natural Resources prepare you for this internship?

The College of Natural Resources has prepared me tremendously for this internship. My advisors these first two years have been nothing but welcoming. They sent out multiple emails regarding several opportunities for everyone and that was how I knew that Campus As A Classroom was a very competitive and sought-after opportunity. I felt prepared when editing the resume I was going to submit in the application because I had taken several courses that increased my knowledge regarding sustainability and I knew that I would feel proud during the application and interview process. These courses gave me skills such as tree health identification and mapping.

What are your long-term goals and how does this internship factor in?

One of my long-term goals is working in the United Nations and helping communities in different parts of the world. UNICEF is also an organization I would love to volunteer for or work with. Fortunately, NC State has a chapter established that I’m a member of this year. This tree project has allowed me to add to my resume the title of undergraduate representative in the Urban Forest Committee. Holding a leadership position in a committee composed of multiple people who have knowledge in different disciplines would be relevant.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned while at NC State?

I have learned that NC State is a place of opportunity. Opportunities are given to you through emails, professors, advisors and classmates even. I have learned to take advantage of every opportunity given to me, no matter if it is a direct correlation to my future plans. I have worked two jobs in two years; one with the College of Natural Resources and the other with the Sustainability Office. I am able to apply to a variety of internships through newsletters and social media. I’m leading a group of Environmental First Year students this semester, and every time I can, I remind them to take advantage of every opportunity.