I declared the SDM not only because I wanted to learn about sustainability and it aligned with my values, but I knew it would supplement my primary major, make myself more marketable, and would prove to be essential for the future. I also wished to expand my worldview. I knew the knowledge I was learning was very technical based and science driven; I wished to incorporate a breadth of different types of knowledge and skills to my portfolio because I felt restricted to one field. As I progressed in my Environmental Science Ecosystems major, I realized that I knew a little about a lot; the nature of the major is a hodgepodge of several life sciences. I would explain to my friends and family that my major is essentially biogeochemistry with ecology and a knowledge of earth elements all puzzled together. Putting it like that sounds like I know a lot! However, I felt it wasn’t enough for what I am capable of. I’m a diverse person that enjoys many different subjects and schools of thought; it was hard trying to even pin down my primary major!! My major is an emerging field and doesn’t have a secure job market. I knew I needed to diversify.
The SDM proved to be everything I thought it would do for me and more. The nature of the subject AND course was very transdisciplinary. Having students from many different backgrounds and majors exposed me to an array of perspectives and knowledge. My usual internal dialogue during the classes were, “Huh, that’s so interesting. I never thought about it like that!”. With my primary major overlapped a lot with the SDM. My major was essentially one entire pillar of sustainability. Not only was my learnings from my primary major embedded within sustainability, but the overall mechanisms that encompassed both majors were the same!! By mechanisms I mean systems!! My concentration is ecosystems. Not only did we touch on ecosystems themselves in sustainability, but the governing of them is the same of which governs the intricacies of systems for sustainability! Each major helped me understand the other one better; they complimented each other seamlessly.
My dual major experience has taught me to not limit myself in my learning and application. It has showed me that there are so many different stakeholders, perspectives, and knowledge to consider. I was solely focused on the environment, but now I have a wider and deeper understanding of environment because I broadened my scope. Whether I choose to professionally pursue sustainability or not, it will forever be tied to my personal life. The dual major has set me up for success in many ways, but primarily by illustrating the kind of environment and company I want to work in and adopting skill sets that will be vital for my career. I hope to be an environmental scientist within a small engineering firm where an array of specialists work as a collaborative team. I now know that working in a profession or company that values an interactive, collaborative, and learning environment is truly the best fit for me.