SCA Alum Jacob Solon acquired many skills from his time as a member of the Excelsior Conservation Corps that are now applicable at his current professional role.
HOW I FOUND IT AND WHY I JOINED
I found the ECC while attending the spring 2018 job fair put on by my school’s career center. At the time I was finishing up a degree in Philosophy, Politics & Law but was searching for a way to break into my true industry of interest – sustainability. Of the 200+ vendors at the fair, I found six that were at all related to my interests, and only a few of those were open to taking on someone with my kind of background.
ECC was the only one that seemed genuinely excited about taking me on; my interest in sustainability and my desire to make a positive impact were enough. As I came to learn during my six month service, these qualities are central to the mission of ECC, as well as preparing young people of all backgrounds for a successful career in promoting environmental sustainability.
The benefits I received from my ECC service are countless, but among the most significant was an overall sense of professional maturity that was forged by the hard work we performed. We trained to work together as a team and look after each other like family. I recall discussing with many of my co-members that after the rigor of ECC, we felt confident we could succeed in any opportunity we pursued.
That constructive attitude and set of interpersonal skills, even more so than the vocational skills we trained on with our individual crews, was without a doubt the highlight of my resume during the job search for my next step after ECC.
WHAT I GOT OUT OF IT
Now, over a year since the conclusion of my service with ECC, I am working as a sales support specialist at the Alternative Energy Store, a distributor of renewable energy products to homeowners and installers. My daily tasks involve coordinating between the sales, customer service, and technical support departments to make sure customers are taken care of during their ordering process. My experiences from ECC with project organization, construction, tool handling, and problem-solving are put to work constantly both in my oﬃce and in my conversations with our customers.
I recommend the ECC experience to anyone seeking to solidify their professional skills, build connections with other sustainability-minded people, or even if they are simply looking for an opportunity to make a tangible positive impact like I was.