Alumni Spotlight- Nick Carter
How did you obtain your current job and what are the duties?
I obtained my current job through a good ole-fashioned job hunt—I kept my options open, applied up and down the State, and applied to positions in disciplines that I’m not wholly familiar or comfortable with. My biggest strategy during the job search was to step out of my comfort zone—I never initially saw myself in a consulting position, but I love the work. As an environmental planner, I ensure that client developments or plans are consistent with the State’s environmental legislation, namely the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). It’s a good amount of searching through maps, City codes, zoning regulations and land use designations, as well as regulatory documents, in order to craft the most appropriate environmental analysis.
In what ways has the EPM program contributed to your work in your current position?
The EPM program undoubtedly contributed to my current work—my first introduction to CEQA was an in-depth discussion during a core EPM class, and the interviewers for my current position were thrilled to hear that I had past familiarity with CEQA. EPM classes that outlined and delved into California’s environmental regulations and policy process continue to assist me today—sometimes it’s handy to keep your old notes!
What was your favorite memory during your time in EPM?
My favorite memory during my time in EPM was during Professor Winsor’s environmental law course, when the class was divided into two sides in mock negotiations for environmental disputes. It was quite fun—our team would meet regularly to strategize, we would frantically scribble notes to each other during the actual negotiations to produce backup arguments, and overall, we got a glimpse into what environmental negotiation and litigation looks like. Additionally, another favorite memory would have to be Graham’s trivia games—even though most of my graduate experience was virtual, we met online to play trivia regularly—couldn’t have won without my stellar teammates, Kelsey and David!
Do you have any advice for current students?
My advice for current students? Be proud of your abilities and don’t hesitate to showcase them when you’re able! Don’t be afraid of rejection, put yourself out there, and be confident in yourself, whether applying for jobs, grants, or simply networking.
Please share a fun fact about yourself!
Since graduating from EPM, I’ve had a smidge more time for pleasure reading. For those who are looking for their next read, I’d highly recommend Fuzz by Mary Roach, In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall, Lords of the Sea by John R. Hale, and my all-time favorite (which I first read in the EPM program), Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.