Izzy Kostelnick, EES Student Ambassador
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE UMAINE AND THE EES PROGRAM?
Finding a program that had a strong focus on interactive and tangible learning was a high priority for me when choosing a school. Many of the other programs I looked at focused primarily on traditional lecture style courses and classroom work, with minimal opportunities to gain immersive experience in the field. As a hands-on learner, I knew I wanted to seek out a program that valued the importance of introducing students to field experiences and practice-oriented coursework, which is a key element of the EES program here at UMaine.
BEST HANDS ON EXPERIENCE?
The best hands-on experience I’ve had so far is taking SFR 434, Recreation Site Planning & Management, with Dr. John Daigle. Class time is used to visit various local recreation sites, where we as a class had the opportunity to analyze management strategies and hear from recreation site planners about various issues, implementations, and outcomes.
FAVORITE CLASS AT UMAINE?
My favorite class at UMaine is SFR 446 – Forest Resource Policy with Adam Daigneault. Enrolling in this class as a freshman, I was incredibly nervous about being in a 400 level course so early in my academic career, especially considering my forestry knowledge was rather limited. Little did I know that this class would be the catalyst for changing my concentration and rerouting my future ambitions. The biggest lesson I learned was that challenging yourself and going outside your comfort zone ultimately leads to growth, which can sometimes manifest in the most unexpected but beneficial ways.
ANY WORDS OF WISDOM FOR INCOMING STUDENTS?
Your comfort zone will kill you. As a new student, it can be incredibly scary being thrown in the “deep end”, especially when it feels like everyone around you is already doing so much. However, while being afraid of trying something new is normal, putting yourself out there allows you to expose yourself to new perspectives, experiences, and opportunities that may otherwise not present themselves. Extending yourself outside your comfort zone, even if it seems awkward or overwhelming at first, always leads to growth in some manner, which is an invaluable resource as you begin to find your niche. Do not let yourself be the thing that holds you back.