Vanessa Martinez

Vanessa Martinez
Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning & Economics
Arboretum Ambassador Sept 2015-June 2017
Co-Coordinator for Arboretum Ambassadors June 2017- June 2018

I interviewed for this internship as a shy first year student, unsure of the program’s possibilities. I was an ambassador for 2 years and then became the co-coordinator for the program.  I have gained countless skills from leadership to community outreach and engagement, but two really stand out: creativity and collaboration.

As an ambassador, we are given the freedom to choose which events we would like to create and how we want them to be run. Many other jobs I have had, don’t allow for this kind of creativity or place as much trust in the students. Each quarter we brainstorm ideas for future events or how we can improve existing ones. Second, we get to collaborate with many other organizations within the arboretum, campus organizations, and the greater Davis community. This allows us to interact with our peers and discover new mentors on a personal level, all the while advancing the community’s understanding of the importance of the work we do and the education we hope to provide.

The arboretum staff really focuses on our personal success both here at the arboretum and whatever comes next, and their long-term focus for each of us has opened my eyes to how I can be a better leader.

This internship has given me a few different professional experiences.  One of my fellow peers connected me to my first professional internship with a small environmental consulting firm. I am confident that as I continue my career this internship will continue to be of immense value.



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