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Nora Jang

Nora Jang
Environmental Science and Management

Environmental Policy Analysis & Planning (minor)

GATEways Outreach Program Student 2017-2018

Since freshman year, the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden has held a deep significance and meaning to me that I have not felt the same way about any other place. It has served me well in long walks and picnics with friends, weekend getaways, a solo thinking spot, and overall just a huge breath of fresh air kept separate from the bustling campus and the rest of Davis.

Joining the Learning by Leading program as a GATEways Outreach intern my senior year has allowed me to, in a way, give back to the Arboretum what it has given to me over the past four years. Many students, staff, and visitors of Davis aren’t aware that the Arboretum is more than just a ‘green space.’ It is a center of education and learning, and this year definitely taught me the extent of behind-the-scenes work that goes into maintaining the Arboretum’s pristine and welcoming nature.

GATEways Outreach provided me with more than ample experience to take with me going into post-grad life. I learned, by trial and error, how to individually lead varying levels of event planning and group coordination. You might think it’s going to be easy—picking a date to put an outreach event on and letting everything else fall into place. Wrong! It requires more preparation and on-the-fly decisions than you think. This internship gave me just the right balance of challenges to later improve upon and learn from. Individually and as a group effort, this internship forced me to think on my toes and took me out of my comfort zone.

As an Environmental Science and Policy major, group collaboration as well as individual leading of projects no matter the scale is crucial to success in any career in this field. Before joining the internship, I didn’t really know the first step in planning an event, but one year later, I think I can say with confidence that I’m capable of putting on a pretty good event! I’ve learned the importance of thinking ahead, taking micro details into consideration, and most importantly, asking for help when needed.

GATEways Outreach and all the Learning by Leading programs unite to form a strong, tight-knit community of future leaders and educators. My experience has turned out to be everything I could have hoped for!

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