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Josie Quinn

A Transformative Winter Break: ESF Student Gains Career Clarity Through Job Shadowing

Josie outside planting a plant. She is wearing a red and black plaid shirt and jeans. She has gardening gloves on.

Not every college student can say that winter break was life-changing, but Josie Quinn (Environmental Science, Class of 2027) can. 

During those few short weeks away from campus, she participated in two job shadow programs near her home in the Catskills: one at the Mohonk Preserve and the other at the Ashokan Watershed Steam Management Project. 

“Both are places I’ve gone to hike throughout most of my life. It was great to see behind the scenes and work with the people in charge of preserving and managing the land; it gave me a great window into the possible jobs I can pursue,” she said. 

Opportunities like this don’t just land in your lap – Josie sought them out. She combed through emails from the Office of Career Services and she searched ESF’s internship and job mobile app (Handshake). As someone who enjoyed both hydrology and maps, she was ecstatic to find two job-shadowing opportunities that checked all her boxes.  

“This was one of the best things that I have gotten out of my ESF experience. The job shadows connected me with three different ESF alumni and allowed me to experience first-hand two organizations that provided valuable services to the natural environment,” Josie said. 

At both, she learned about different positions and lines of work. She connected with professionals who found ways to turn their passion for the environment into a career. 

Josie found ESF thanks to her aunt, who took her on a statewide tour of college campuses. She said that no other tour felt like ESF — it was the place that felt the best to her. Not only has she immersed herself in campus life by building her co-curricular resume, but she is a dedicated presidential/national scholar.

“ESF is incredibly unique and I’m happy I’m able to afford this experience to help me reach my career goals of working in nature,” she said. “Thank you so much for supporting ESF. There isn't any other school quite like it, and it’s because of you that I can attend here.”