My first post-graduate job took me to the Cape Eleuthera Institute in the Bahamas, where I worked as an outdoor educator and assisted on various research projects. While in the Bahamas, I was struck by swells (pun intended!) of pure joy and wonder when examining coral polyps with underwater lenses, watching peacock flounders disappear into their surroundings, or diving amongst reef sharks. My time at CEI made my mission clear: to embark on a career centered on improving the health of our Earth.
I set off to San Diego to join a lab at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, using modeling software to study the state of the coral reefs of the world. While ecology appealed to my fascination with the intricacies of the ocean, I found myself increasingly drawn to the engineering side of the sustainability movement. As a big-picture thinker, I wanted to be part of a long-term solution. The key to a healthier planet lies in making clean energy more efficient and affordable, thereby pushing the global community to make the switch to sustainability. As an engineer, I could help mold that key.
Though I did not have the traditional engineering background, I began applying to sustainable engineering positions. I was thrilled to receive one working for Altanova, a sustainable engineering and consulting firm in New York City. I’ve been here since January and have loved every minute of it! The fast-paced, solutions-based nature of the work leaves me feeling challenged and fulfilled.
My four years at Wake Forest revealed my passions, developed my critical-thinking, and grew my confidence. Though I was reluctant to leave my Wake Forest family, I could not have dreamed of better preparation for the working world. I’m so grateful for the unforgettable, diverse, and truly life-changing experiences I’ve had in the 14 months since graduation and can’t wait for what comes next!
– Sara Borchers, Reynolds Scholar Alumna