Being just an engineer was all I wanted to be until I discovered volunteering in my community. Being part of a planning advisory board has opened a lot of doors. It helped me with speaking skills, writing skills, learned policy and the process for projects to become reality, and took the progress we made in the area of sustainability to many conferences. Receiving awards and recognitions over the years from outside organizations for volunteer work is just the icing on the cake.
These efforts also made me become a better leader and able to train others, skills that I apply in my current paid job. Giving back definitely pays off.
Melanie A. Carlson, PE, LEED AP