Finding a Job on Handshake: FAQs

Get answers to the most common student questions about Handshake.

Do you have questions about how to find a job or internship on Handshake? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve compiled answers to the most common questions from college students.

Why should I make a Handshake account if I already use other job sites?

Handshake is the only place that connects you, your school, and employers together. All of the jobs on Handshake are meant for students—in fact, Handshake has the most opportunities for students and new college grads of any job platform. It’s also the only place where employers are recruiting specifically at your school.

Why do I need to fill out my Handshake profile?

Your profile is the key to finding a job or internship on Handshake. When you fill out your profile

  • Handshake gives you personalized job recommendations based on the information you provide on your profile—so you can find jobs and internships that are right for you.
  • You increase your chances of having a recruiter message you directly with job opportunities and event invitations. In fact, 80% of students who fill out their profile receive a message from a recruiter.

Which parts of my Handshake profile are most important to include?

In addition to your major, Handshake also uses your job interests to recommend opportunities to you. Your job interests include: 

  • Job type: select part-time job, full-time job, or internship. 
  • Job location: choose the cities that you’d like to live and work in. 
  • Job roles: select at least three positions that interest you. 
TIP: You can change and update your interests at any time.

What are the top things employers search for?

After job interests, these are the most popular fields that employers use to find students they’d like to message:

  • Work experience: Have you had a part-time job, internship, work study, research position or volunteered? Employers like to see that you’ve taken on responsibility, and that these experiences have helped you develop valuable skills. 
  • Skills: Add technical skills like SQL and soft skills like communication. The more skills you list, the better your chances are of showing up in an employer search. 
  • Clubs and organizations: These highlight your unique interests and involvement on campus.

Why should I make my profile public? 

Employers are able to find and view your profile only when you make it visible to them. So help employers find you! Make it public so you’ll show up when they’re searching for students to recruit for jobs and internships. You can also make your profile visible to other students, so you can connect with them for advice, or help them. 

Don’t worry—your profile will not be public to employers that have not been approved by your school, or to anyone without a Handshake account.

Can I use Handshake on my phone? 

Yes! Download the Handshake App from the App Store or Google Play, to search and apply to jobs right from your phone. You’ll also be notified when you receive a message from an employer, be first to see new job postings, and can apply to jobs in two clicks with Quick Apply. 

What is the best way to use keyword search and filters?

Keyword search and filters are a great way to narrow down and customize the jobs you see on Handshake. You can filter through jobs by criteria such as job type, location, work authorization, and industry. Keyword search helps you find jobs whose description includes a word that you’re looking for. For example, if you search for the keyword “accounting,” you will see jobs where the word accounting appears within the posting.

TIP: Save your searches to quickly access a set of filters you’ve used in the past.

Why should I contact other students on Handshake?

When you view a job or employer page, you can see other students who have worked there and reach out to them with your questions. You can get an inside look at company culture, interview tips, and more through company reviews. You can also find answers to common career questions (or ask your own!) in Q&A.

TIP: You can also search for students based on their major, work experiences, and more.

The Career Center is Here for You

As the Career Center continues to serve students and alumni remotely, we’ve repurposed our blog to keep you up to date on economic trends, businesses who are hiring during the economic downturn, a weekly “cool jobs” post to highlight some of the interesting opportunities in Handshake, stories of hope from previous recessions, and best practices for job searching right now (yes, you can still job search right now!). You can use the menu on the left to navigate to topics, or read the latest posts below. You will find old content on here; we’ve kept it because it’s still good content. Explore! And, as always, if you have questions, please be in touch. Right now, the best way to contact us is

As always, you can access all of the services the Career Center has to offer (including virtual appointments and online resume and cover letter reviews) through our website and on Handshake.  We are sharing additional articles and resources on our Twitter page @UNCACareer.

Cool Jobs Podcast: Renewable Materials Creator

hemp, thinking, sustainability, called, materials, felt, planted, environmentalist, build, asheville, opportunity, factory, talking, moving, builders, company, building, seed, create, sustainable
Josh Dorfman, David Earnhardt

David Earnhardt 00:00
Hi, I’m David, and I’m the host of The Cool Jobs Podcast, a conversation where we dive deep into some of the coolest jobs on the planet. This is the home for jobs you’ve never heard of, or ones you’ve never thought about before. This podcast is for students, learners, dreamers, or anyone who’s interested in finding out about the coolest jobs around. I’ll be speaking with experts across a wide spectrum of career possibilities with the hope that you will find inspiration for your own career. Thanks for joining in. I’m your host David Earnhardt, Associate Director for Employer Relations at UNC Asheville. And joining me today is Josh Dorfman Sustainable Materials Creator, Josh, thanks for joining us for The Cool Jobs Podcast. We’re super excited you’re here. Oh, well, thank you. It’s a thrill to be here. I appreciate it. All right. Well, you know, first things first, just kind of tell us a little bit about your background, and how you got to be where you

Josh Dorfman 00:50
are. Sure. So I have spent the majority of my career is what I would call a sustainability entrepreneur, or mission driven entrepreneur. I’ve built two sustainable furniture companies, one up in New York and one actually down here in Nashville. In between that, I spent some time at Amazon, I built a business within Amazon called It’s like an online Whole Foods. So before Amazon actually ended up buying whole foods. And prior to that, I actually had a reality TV show. And daily radio show on Sirius XM and books and a lot of spokesperson work all under a brand I’d created called the lazy environmentalist, which was me traveling around America, helping lazy Americans go green, without having to work very hard. And I will just so yeah, so that’s largely been the bulk of my career. I moved to Asheville about eight years ago. And thinking that I was going to start a sustainable Furniture Company, which eventually did but before that, I was connected in and eventually recruited to build Asheville startup community under a brand called Venture Ashville, which was incredibly fun, incredibly rewarding, and amazing opportunity to help other entrepreneurs kind of pursue their dreams and realize their goals. So I’ve I love entrepreneurship. I’m very passionate about sustainability. I tend to work in tech and media and brand building. And that’s a bit about me,

David Earnhardt 02:25
go. So I have to dive in on the lazy environmentalist because I feel like I am one of those as well. So someone who is very interested in what is the easiest way that I can help the planet. So I got I got to dive in on that a little bit. What what was the impetus for jumping in and being a an assister of lazy bunch of lazy environmentalists like myself

Josh Dorfman 02:49
of coining lazy environmentalism. So the first company I started back in 2003, was called the vave. Like, Viva V, live life. And, and I’d had this this sort of realization, I should say, as someone who had become very interested in sustainability, very concerned about the future of the planet. And being an American living in living the United States, I felt that the role I could play in creating solutions was to help consumers live more sustainably. And so that’s why I created this first. So when I created Bobby, it was really like, well, I’m going to create this e commerce company was 2003, ecommerce was still pretty new. But I thought this would be a relatively easy way to, you know, to distribute and sell like, you know, quote, unquote, green products. But my whole vision was, let me go find the best design the most stylish products out there made with environmentally responsible materials. And then you’ll just make it easy for people to make the more sustainable choice because it will be really well designed and stylish and what they want, anyway, which was, you know, going back almost 20 years, that was sort of a novel concept at the time, right? Today, thankfully, it’s gotten way more mainstream, which was always, you know, the hope and goal with some incredible brands that exist today. But out of that business, I actually started in Washington, DC, where I had quit a Ph. D. program in political science where I was focused on environment, and I’d also lived in China in my 20s. So I was doing China and politics and the environment. And after a semesters like this, absolutely not for me. I’m just going to help consumers live more sustainably. That’s what I’m going to do. So I started this business, I was working on my apartment in Washington See, had one employee at the time. My office manager, and on I ended up signing move the company up to Brooklyn, the end of 2005. Two or maybe end of 2004 2005 we were moving up to Brooklyn because that’s where the best sustainable furniture designers on the planet, were on mass. They were in Brooklyn, and I was gonna go get around them and work with them. And so Lucy on her last day working with me took the opportunity since I was no longer her boss to lay into me for being an absolutely terrible environmentalist in my personal life. Like, you’re selling all this green stuff, but you’re always in the shower, you barely recycle, you’re moving, you’re gonna throw your bed out, I took it to the homeless shelter like you are a jerk. Right? Like you are not you are an you are a hypocrite. You are, I don’t even understand like, it’s furious. And I had in 2004, I’d been at a conference and I heard the CEO of Patagonia at the time, Patagonia, one of the probably the most enlightened one of the most enlightened companies on the planet, from a sustainability social point of view, talking about how his company was failing, because the recycled content in their fleece had declined over the previous year from like, 80% to 60%, or something. And it was like, everybody in the audience was like, What is like you’re patting white, like, you know, and he was like, Look, we’re good. But we’re not. We’re not holding ourselves up to our standards. And we’re not meeting the expectations that our customers have of us. And we need to be really honest and truthful about owning where we’re falling down. And so I that was so instrumental to me. And so, with Vavi, when I got called out by my employee, I was like, You know what, I’m gonna own this. And we had a, I had a blog at the time. So I wrote on my blog, I wrote about myself. And I called myself lazy environments. And look, I want to do my part for the planet, I take long showers, I do my best thinking in the shower. I know I’m using energy to heat water. And I’m using a lot of water. I’m not like proud of that. I also know that as much as I care about the planet, I’m not going to change my behavior. And like, so what I need is industry or someone to invent an incredible low flow showerhead, with unbelievable water pressure, so I can reduce my energy, you reduce my water usage, and still have a great shower, I will buy that. But I’m not going to change. And I’m not saying like I’m like, I’m proud of this, like, I’m not, but this is reality. I care. I’m lazy. I’m a lazy environmentalist. And I think there’s millions of Americans who probably would get on board with change, if the solutions fit our lives.

David Earnhardt 07:10
Hmm. That’s such a. So that’s such a way to say it. enlightened way of thinking. And at the same time, it took someone kind of taking you to task a little bit about that. And, and that was a brave thing for her to do. I can imagine. You know, I’m curious how that landed with you. I mean, obviously, it inspired some change, and it pushed you to do something different. But in the moment, how are you? How are you feeling about that? Well,

Josh Dorfman 07:38
you know, I’m, I would say, you know, part of my personality is I, I like to be challenged. And so and especially when I know, like, it’s just straight up, like the truth. And so, there was she was just absolutely right. There was nothing I could say except his own it, you know, like, you’re just absolutely right, like, I am a giant hypocrite. And like, I don’t mind that, you know, so. Yeah, so it just, I had to really go think about it, you know, I had, but so it forced it challenged me and, and I certainly I have, like, always appreciated that. It took me a while but didn’t know, I would say it took me about a week to process it. It you know, it wasn’t like a straight up like, like, immediate Oh, I’m gonna go read a blog about this. But the more I thought about it and thought about I was like, you know, like, I think this is an opportunity. And I need to kind of come clean here, because we were building a values based company. And just like Patagonia, I felt therefore a responsibility as the owner to be very truthful and authentic with our audience who was becoming, you know, who were following us and becoming passionate about what we were doing. So I think it was, it was a bit of a risk to, you know, to put it out there. But I felt that it was the right thing. I didn’t think too hard about it. But I just thought, you know what, I’m gonna put this out there because because I feel it’s the right thing to do.

David Earnhardt 09:03
Well, and sometimes I think that we get into positions where, you know, the I don’t know if it’s power necessarily, or if it’s, you know, just in a position where we think we we kind of have the right answer and then to get feedback that we may we may not be living up to values that we are espousing. That’s, that’s kind of a gut check. To put it a little mildly. And so the ability to be able to take that feedback and and internalize it, and then turn around and say, You know what, yeah, let’s, let’s actually do that, that I’m getting this feedback about the universe or that this other person is giving me is a really powerful thing. So I think that’s, that’s an awesome story to tell. Thank you for that.

Josh Dorfman 09:43
Well, just to kind of maybe piggyback on that a little bit. You know, I didn’t. I didn’t start Vavi or lazy environmentalist. Just I didn’t just one day come up with the idea of like, Hey, I’m just gonna help consumers go green. I mentioned I was in this Ph. D program. Before I was in the Ph. D program. And I actually, like I had gone and gotten my MBA. But when I was in my MBA program, and I’ll tell you why I was in my MBA program, actually still in a time in my 20s, where I was like, like, in for me, I was still questioning everything, right? I was questioning capitalism, I was questioning why we had these environmental issues that we have, I was, you know, like, who, who controls the rules of the quote, unquote, you know, game, so to speak, the market economy, like, like, why do we have all this pollution and where it came from? Was, so when I finished college, I had a three year plan coming out of school, I graduated in 1994. And a little bit to my parents chagrin, I knew I was going to be a ski bum for a year. So I knew I was going to I knew I was going to fail, which I didn’t really like, let it lead on until probably like, April of that year. Hey, guys, I got some good news, you know, which was not was not perceived as good news. The deal I made with my dad was that I would take like every graduate entrance exam, like graduate degree, you know, known to mankind, so like, GRE, LSAT, GMAT. I take them all for went out to Colorado. But I knew it’s going to go to Colorado, and then I knew I was going to go to China. And so I said, this was my three year plan. And so I went, so I did, because I thought I was gonna have a career, State Department, Foreign Service, something like that. And I was really fascinated with China. And so I got a job teaching English in a university outside of Nanjing, China, which was great. You know, I was teaching graduate students, but, but I was so keen to learn as much about the culture as I could, I ended up getting this part time job in a factory that was and I was working for a company called kryptonite by clocks are some probably some of the students on this still, probably, you know, these have kryptonite? Bollocks, they had invented this U shaped lock, and they were moving manufacturing to China, and they needed an American and I was here I was I was like, 23 years old. And I went to work in that factory. And it was just an incredible cultural experience for me, but no working for CryptoNight, full time, opening an office and having this really life altering experience in my 20s. And we opened a factory in southern China in 1996, I want to say, are partnered with a Chinese company to own this factory. And I was traveling with a Chinese owner to this restaurant we were going to celebrate outside of Guangzhou. And we get to the parking lot. And we’re he was driving a Mercedes. You know, we still like really like Communist China, but like, the cognitive dissonance was driving a Mercedes. And he gets out. And he says to me, Josh, look, my Mercedes is the biggest Mercedes in the parking lot. And you know, like, pride chest swelled up, and I just, I’ve been there for about two years. And I thought, right, like, in many respects, you’re, you’re like us, right? You want bigger, you want more bigger everything. And like, I get that. And that’s what you guys want. And certainly as Americans, like, that’s what we’re exporting, right? That’s what we want the world to embrace. And I started thinking, but here I am, selling bike locks, thinking like, gosh, there’s a billion people riding bikes, I’m gonna retire by the time I’m 26 years old. But then I started thinking, Oh, my gosh, like, you know, all the tunnels, bridges, highways, all this infrastructure for cars that I’d seen, just in the two years, I’ve been there. And I had this thought of, like, there’s gonna be a billion cars here. You know, like, I don’t know anything about global warming, but like, this is the world we’re going towards. And this is going to be problematic. And it was like, certainly an epiphany. And that absolutely changed my life. And so before I got to the point of Avahi, where I was like, Oh, I’m just going to help consumers do this blah, blah, nice thing and like shop sustainably. I was like, kind of went through sort of what I would call like, a hardcore, activist face. So I bring this all back, David, to what you said about like, how did that land with me, I had to evolve a lot in my thinking of my paradigm for what is an effective way to try to drive shift, you know, behavior change. And it was a process for me, and it was uncomfortable for a number of years.

David Earnhardt 14:07
And I can imagine to especially, I mean, there’s there might be a little bit of, you’re inspired a little bit to kind of think, Oh, well, that’s a different culture than mine, or that’s, you know, they’re doing it their way because that’s what they need to do, but I can do it a different way, or we do it differently in the United States, I can imagine that there is a little bit of that kind of almost putting it off, you know, not not trying to own a piece of that. And I think that’s, uh, you know, to be able to go in and actually be that, that thoughtful about it and to be an activist, as you mentioned, is a big deal. And so it makes me wonder now, you know, we talked, we named this podcast, sustainable materials creator. And so I wonder, you know, how you got from, you know, some of these other roles that you’ve talked about as far as being China. And also being building and building furniture and being a part of some of the the lazy environmentalist and to now being in the creation space and in the actual being an entrepreneur, obviously, but then actually making the material that addresses some of those things that you were talking about.

Josh Dorfman 15:20
Yeah, the So yes, we are focused on materials right now. Specifically, what we would call structural building materials so that you could build homes out of our one day high rises out of apartment buildings, the way we got to it, or the way I got to it was, I ended up as I mentioned, when we first started talking, I built this furniture company down here in western North Carolina. And we were using, I was really excited about it, it was called assembly like simple assembly, and it was had this vision of, of trying to do four things at once. And to do all four at once is really hard and that is manufacture in America, be entirely sustainable, have incredible design out of an affordable price. And like that was like the this sort of design challenge this box that we had to try to fit into to succeed. And we got a long way toward it, which was awesome. We started selling furniture, we got picked up nationally by West Elm furniture company and having success with the business. But what I started experiencing, before the pandemic, and then through the pandemic, was the quality of the material that we were getting. So we were using what’s called this very premium premium, high quality plywood for Stewardship Council certified. It’s called apple pie. And beautiful but what we were experiencing was from one board of it to another the quality was getting so bad that to the point of you couldn’t use it. Just simply unusable. The prices were going up quality going down. You know, we’re still cutting down trees at the end of the day to make furniture and I just started feeling like gosh, if I feel like the bigger opportunity is to focus on materials come up with better materials on on these dimensions, right at lower price, higher quality, don’t cut down trees. In that moment, as I was thinking that way, I was connected to another entrepreneur, who had spent six years previously at SpaceX working on building rocket ships, and was actually overseeing the environmental controls and life support systems team for the Dragon spacecraft. So building all the components, all the materials and the factories to build those components chose that would first kept mice alive and then kept humans alive going up into space. And we were introduced to he had started a manufacturing company here in North Carolina. So we were introduced to talk about our products. I vented my frustration to him. And he came back to me and said, Well, that’s really interesting, because me and my team from SpaceX, we spent the last few years thinking about what biomass what you know, alternative to trees, might we be able to grow into the millions of acres that could grow so fast that as it’s growing, it’s pulling carbon out of the atmosphere, right by virtue just like trees, right, as trees grow they right now, inhale, carbon, exhale, oxygen. So fast growing by bamboo or in our case, starting with hemp or other mushrooms, like they just grow so much faster, and they grow every year and you cut them down every year, like you can just take a lot more carbon in the atmosphere. That’s what we’re thinking about. And so we thought, well, what if we put these two ideas together and develop new materials that could be this wonderful carbon capture and sequestration solution, and we could go build this huge business with better materials, and do all of this good for the planet. But the good for the planet is just embedded in the business, right, so the more material we sell, the more good we’re doing for the planet. And that’s really in my mind the definition of what is a sustainable business and how you create like real value in the world you don’t try and just bolt on the environmental benefit by like, oh we donate to charity will donate to charities nice but that doesn’t make you a sustainable business. The guts of the business have to align with reducing footprint and so we just got really excited about that we try to go for it.

David Earnhardt 19:12
So take me through that process a little bit. So you mentioned you know bamboo and hemp and some of these other kind of fast growing carbon negative type of materials. And at the same time you I mean, these are materials that grow from the from very soils and from different locations and you have to decide like, Okay, so there’s fiber here and and the fiber is helpful for what you want to build your material out of, but take me through the actual process of it. You think about you’re thinking about a plot of land and seeds to what you’re building now. Can I take me through that? The actual process of that

Josh Dorfman 19:53
Sure. So yeah, I’ll and I’ll take you through the process and also kind of state of the industry today because They go hand in hand. And so in 2018, at the federal level in the US hemp was legalized. So before that you wouldn’t have had this opportunity those some states started doing trial programs around industrial hemp, North Carolina being one of them, which we started in 2014. So farmers have had, you know, now, let’s call it six or seven potential years of experience with hemp. You know, this go around now that hemp is legal again, but we can sure we can start the conversation here. Right. So what that means is to if you’re going to start with seed, it’s a lot of the seed that you need to plant isn’t here, right? It’s your you should have to go and find places in the world where hemp has been grown and harvested now much longer than it was in the US. So. So for us, we’re turning to Australia, in China, and Europe, where there there are seed banks, and where you can actually, you know, get seed. So we’re, we’re importing seed into the US Now bear in mind that we just started this business. February, we started working on it. February 2021, Incorporated, May 2021. So we’re very early, right? Yeah. But so we are importing seed. For 2022. We’ve identified farmers in North Carolina, who have experienced with growing hemp, there are 1500 farmers or so that are registered with the state of North Carolina to grow it. And you’ll find that in most states around the US right now. So what we’re doing in 2022, is we’re actually doing a lot of r&d, meaning we’re gonna plant these different seeds on on, you know, small plots, so maybe an acre up to 10 acres per plot, proceed, we’re going to experiment with the time of you know, of the season, the planting season, that we put that seed in the ground, do it and do it mid March to mid April, do we do a big bang? I mean, there’s so much learning, we’re gonna experiment with how far apart do we plant those seeds per square foot, meaning because when that that industrial hemp comes up, if you’re planting your seeds further distance apart, you can potentially get, you know, plants that will have a wider diameter, they’ll have more room to grow. But that may or may not be optimal, because for us, for our planted for our company, but we are, what we are striving for is simply how much hemp could we grow, like on a per pound or tonnage basis, per acre per year. And so maybe it’s spacing it apart wide, maybe it’s putting it closer together, there’s you know, there will still there will be things on the other end of when do we harvest it do we harvested before it flowers, right, because flowering, it’s a different plant, but we’d be talking about CBD, if you’re going for industrial hemp fiber, that’s not a, that’s not an opportunity. But you still have to think about the flowering of the of the hemp stock, there’s all these factors that we need to understand, to figure out what’s going to give us just the most the most tonnage we possibly can get per acre, because that will take the most carbon out of the atmosphere, and then create the most efficient way for us to capture that material. And then bale it, right, so we’ll put it into will look like hemp will look like hay. So it will get bailed into hay. It’ll be transported then to our facility where we will have our production line. We’re building our so we were developing this prototype production line, which is completely novel. And this is the technology that we believe will revolutionize construction materials and manufacturing. Because typically, when like so we’re starting with a structural panel for our home. So basically think of it as like the guts of your sub floor, you know, the thing that’s behind your wall that you nail to the two by fours, and you know, the kind of the backbone of a roof, so to speak. So these panels that go all around the house and in this upper when you build a new factory, the way the industry works today, that factory will cost over $400 million. It’s it’s like a small town, it’s sure massive, massive scale. It’s it’s all anchored around a machine that will press that wood together like you because all of these materials are made from wood into ultimate into a sheet that could be three eight inches thick, half inch thick, four feet wide, eight feet long. To do that at the way the industry works. That machine is actually eight storeys tall and weighs 4 million pounds. Basically only two companies in the world that make that machine and they don’t make a lot of them and so they are unbelievably expensive. Okay, everything is sized around that you have to be able to dry all the wood because it gets to the mill and it’s still 50% wet, right? You have to be able to separate it you have to be able to cut like, it’s massive. So instead of doing that, which we think we understand why the industry works that way, but we think we can do it entirely differently for for Couple of reasons. We’re building a production line. So it’s not eight storeys tall and 4 million pounds, it’s actually four feet wide, you know, maybe it’s eight feet tall, but it’s four feet wide, it’s 200 feet long. And it’s what we would call a continuous press or a continuous line. So what that means we would take a bale of that hay that’s coming from the field, it would come into our facility, we would be able to take that bale of hay, just feed it right into our production process, and we get separated, it would get cut, it would get kind of, you know, sort of laid out in a way where we could then apply, essentially glue to it. And we would have a very different way that’s to press it into a board that doesn’t require all that machinery. We have a team from from SpaceX, right? That’s not just my co founder, but a whole team that, you know, they built rocket ships, they’ve, they beat Boeing to space, right, so they know how to be huge competitors and do things cheaper and faster. So we’re kind of applying the SpaceX thinking, to completely reimagining what a what a factory looks like that builds materials. And the other thing I’ll say about it, which is really exciting, is that the reason why we can think this way is because hemp, or bamboo, or some of the other things we’re looking at, but if we just stick with hemp, hemp can grow all over the country, right? So hemp can grow very close to where that home builder is who needs the material. And so you don’t, but trees are rolling in certain places in the country. And so if you’re doing trees, you have to have this massive factory where the trees are, because the most expensive thing, which breaks, the model breaks the financial model of the business is if you have to take those bales of hay, and you have to ship them more than let’s say, 50 to 75 miles, that trucking cost kills your business, right, you immediately can’t compete on price. So you must be close to your source of material to be in this kind of business. But hemp can be almost everywhere, which means you can think about where you put your factories very differently. And you can think about the size of your factories very differently, because they can be sized to the local market that you’re trying to sell to. And so you can have, and by doing that, you can, you know, instead of moving all this material around or finished goods, you can take a lot of carbon out of your supply chain, because you’re not shipping as much and a lot of cost out of your supply chain. And hemp actually enables the innovation that we’re going to create on the manufacturing side, which is why we put these two things together. No kidding.

David Earnhardt 27:40
It’s funny, I you know, you don’t think about the log truck on the on on the highway, you know, that’s, that’s pulling logs from wherever they cut them to, to one of the solid mills and in Alabama, or in a you know, somewhere that’s not in the local vicinity. Right. And, and the idea of being able to kind of make it modular, where you can take it and widely distribute. That’s a really, that’s an innovative and exciting idea. I really like that that’s, that changes it, like you mentioned, that changes the the profit margin and the the the mode of being able to do the work. But it also it keeps, you know, it makes a product more more local, right. So the person who made the who, who worked in the factory to build this board might be the brother of the person who is who is doing the construction on the house that is going to use the board, right. And so it takes out potentially some of the other distance, I guess from from where something is made and where it’s actually used. That’s really that’s innovative. I really like that.

Josh Dorfman 28:48
Yeah, thank you. I mean, I can barely sleep, I’m so excited. It’s just like, it’s, you know, it just feels like so you kind of like, I’m sort of parsing some of the questions you’ve asked me, but how we got here, you know, to me, like working in sustainability is you just, obviously, it’s a journey. But I’ve always felt that I would like when I did the TV show, or I did the radio show, I had no experience doing that stuff. And it was exciting. It was also just incredibly nerve wracking. Like I just write like, I just, whatever. So any opportunity that’s ever been offered to me, if it felt like it was aligned with my values, if it meant I was gonna have to move or step into, you know, roles that I didn’t, you know, were, you know, I wasn’t actually prepared to go, I was gonna take it, because I really want to have to build this sustainability career. And it’s becoming easier to have a sustainability sort of driven career like, so maybe I can say it differently. Like it’s becoming easier to go work for companies and align your value like your values about the planet or society with your job because there’s more companies now but It’s, it’s an answer, don’t think it’s actually that easy. But that was always just like, super, that was the most important thing to me for a very long time. And now it planted you know, a lot of stars aligned. And I felt as an entrepreneur, when I connected with water, my co founder, and then the other SpaceX team, and some of the other people connected to this business. Christian, our first employee, Gil, one of our marketing advisors, we have great advisors, Kelly, our finance advisor, like the people who have like, connected into this business. This is the greatest team I’ve ever had to go build a new company from scratch. And so it just became clear, like the universe was like, Yeah, you need to like, this needs to happen now. Right? Because I sort of have that feeling about it.

David Earnhardt 30:48
Sure, absolutely. And I can and I could add to to like, you probably learned a lot of lessons in some of your other businesses as far as how to be intentional with who you’re, who you’re choosing to be advisors and to be employees. And at the same time, there are values that are more pervasive in the in just in our culture, to be able to find those people easier. So I think that’s serendipity is absolutely a thing I believe in it. And so it sounds like, it sounds like you’re having some of that as well.

Josh Dorfman 31:17
Agreed. Agreed.

David Earnhardt 31:19
So, you’ve talked a little bit about the production process and kind of getting it from field to field to form, we’ll say it that way, and whatever form you’re planning on using it for. So at some point it has to get it has to get sold, and it has to get into a consumers hand. And so how are you? How are you thinking about that going forward, I know that you’re probably are still in a in a production, scale up and and trying to figure out exactly what your what your run rates are going to be, and how all that’s going to work out. So just tell me, take us through what your thought process is, as far as who would be interested in this and when what your what your pitch would be in order to get them to, to to jump on board?

Josh Dorfman 32:03
Sure. So when we when we, when we thought we had an idea here back in February, and we knew that we were going to try to come up with a material that would be an alternative to wood. When you start thinking at the very big scale, and you say okay, well, where does Where does timber go in this country, it goes 80% of it goes into residential construction. So we knew that our starting point was going to be home builders, right? Or at least residential construction. It wasn’t gonna be paper it was it was just like we’re going right because again, it comes back to we want it as much tonnage as we possibly can, is our is our ultimate goal is carbon capture. And so we we, before we did anything, before we spent any money before we even like officially incorporated the company, we probably talked to about 25 home builders, and said, Hey, here’s what we’re thinking about doing. And, you know, one, what should we build? What’s wrong with you know, the materials as they’re built today? What are your problems? What can we do better, let’s, let’s understand that. And then we start to see that home builders are particularly custom home builders and modular manufacturers, you know, building homes and factories, were super interested. The the pitch is, we are going to build a product that is the same price as what you pay today, it will perform better, it will be more moisture resistant, or you’re talking about it will be stronger, we can translate that those things into tangible benefits for you the home builder. And it will also be more sustainable. But and the key like point there is that we are not trying to get home builders to buy our product. Because it’s more sustainable. We are I mean, we’re building this company ourselves, because it’s more sustainable. But we have the opportunity to simply to say to a customer, look, you care about sustainability, we care about sustainability. But we have and we have a board that’s better for the planet. But it’s also actually going to make your life easier on a job site or you know, help you build a better house and at the same price. And it’s those it’s that kind of combination of those three factors, which is what’s getting builders even though we’re still, you know, you know, when we think about kind of our timeframe, we will come to market in 2023. Huh. So, you know, we’re not It’s not like we’re saying we can tell us to tomorrow show we’re still getting builders to sign what are called Letters of Intent, or loi expressing their, you know, putting in writing. I mean, it’s not a contract, but it’s an expression of, you know, significant interest. Yeah, we’re gonna buy this and we’re gonna buy this if it’s the same price if it’s made of sustainable materials, and it meets all of the quality standards that we demanded expect in a structural panel that we built The house with so that once we started having those conversations and getting those, like getting some papers signed with builders, and we really thought, man, there’s something here because, you know, people are really are being very supportive builders are being very support not and it’s not out of charity, it’s not of kindness, it’s just the that value proposition to them completely resonates.

David Earnhardt 35:27
And I can imagine to that they want to be able to say that they’ve built a better house than their than their competitor that doesn’t use your use your product, right? I mean, like they can, if there is the value proposition from a getting more business, potentially out of it. By saying it’s, it’s stronger, and it’s it’s more moisture resistant, like some of those other things that you were mentioning there. So there is a small amount of competitive advantage there for them as well, I would imagine.

Josh Dorfman 35:52
Yeah. And and that’s something that we really need to amplify, right that that is the the core vision. And I think the opportunity that we have planted versus this industry is to actually to go to go actually market ourselves to homeowners, to consumers, to renters, right to say, like, homes can be built out of this instead of that. And to get, you know, the goal, so we have to build the best panel. And then we I think if we have the best panel, and it’s the most sustainable, we have an opportunity to build a brand and I have a conversation with you know, with people who live in homes with everyone to say there is a better way. And this is the way in to actually try to get home, you know, I say homeowners but we’re selling multifamily. We’re selling to renters, whatever, like to start asking builders, hey, what’s what is in the wall? Are you using planted and that’s like the North Star for our brand and our marketing is to try to create that interaction with people who live in homes and people who build homes that that will be if we if we start to move the needle there. You know, that will? That’s 111 sort of way to kind of sort of show success, right?

David Earnhardt 37:17
Absolutely. Yeah, I’m already you’re selling me on it. So I think we’re, uh, you’re, you’re already doing that, from the consumers perspective, you’re doing a nice job. Thank you. So part of this podcast really likes to focus on the idea of resilience and how you can kind of fail forward. And so I’m curious what you maybe if you have an idea that or maybe if you can tell a story about an idea that you have that you’re like, man, there’s going to be a total winner is going to work, and it’s gonna be awesome, and everything’s gonna work out. That didn’t work. And then maybe the flip side of that is, you did something you’re like, oh, let’s just take a flyer on it. Let’s see what happens. And it actually really worked out.

Josh Dorfman 38:02
Um, well, I’ll tell you, like, kind of, is there a resilience question that follows on top of that? This is this is it. Okay. So you know, maybe one of the things that that springs to mind for me, and it just stays with it. Thankfully, it stays with me is. So one of the things I took a flyer on we’ve already talked about, is when I created the lazy environmentalist, that brand, right and, and took a flyer on it, it worked out, I think it was the right timing. And that matters a lot. I started that brand in 2005 was really before the culture was really getting a tune to sustainability. But in 2006, Al Gore, his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, came out and then selling the culture was like glommed on to sustainability. And so right place, right time, talented enough to ride that wave. It was great. But But in that, like, while I was doing that, you know, I remember this moment where I saw I had my radio show, it was on Sirius Satellite radios before they merged with Sirius XM, but live daily show. And then it did, it was just about for two years, it was basically two years, and then the channel I was on was bought by a different company. And basically, within two weeks, they’re like, Yeah, thanks. You’re done. Right. And yeah, and it was really without much for warning, like, you know, we’ve we appreciate it, you know, like, off you go. And so I was feeling a little bit resentful of how that was presented to me. And then so after I was notified that the show is going to be, you know, it would be over. The producer came back to me or someone at the company came back to me said, Oh, hey, by the way, we’d like you to do one more show, because there’s another woman that we’re very interested in with her potentially being talent. We’d like you to interview her on it. because we want to evaluate her, and I just remember being like, so put off by that, right? Like, so irritated, I was like, why? Me what I possibly do this, you know? And so like, yeah, on the resilience sort of like, like, like was like, you know, feeling sorry for myself and, and I remember I talked to my dad and my dad said to me he was like, he was like, Look, he’s like, just do it, he’s like you do the right thing like you close out this, you know this chapter on, you know the right note and you take the high road, you know, just so you know that you handled it, you know, in a manner that, you know, kind of aligns with who you are Josh, and I really didn’t want to do it. But ended up saying yes, I listened to my dad and I did it. And the turnout, the woman who I interviewed, she was wonderful. And not only was she wonderful, like we really connected, and she, you know, she was like, gosh, Josh, you’re like, you know, just, you know, you’re a great talent, I’m going to introduce you to my agent, and she her agent was at William Morris. Now William Morris Endeavor. So that’s how I got my agent was because I did that show. And, you know, so I think about that a lot when like, you’re sort of like in lows, or things aren’t working out to just like, remember that. You never know how things are really going to work out. That it’s so that’s sort of a mental model for me. When I think about how do I stay resilient, when things are getting hard and or it’s like, frustrated or angry with someone or feeling bad? Or, you know, or like that sort of like, yeah, you know, just sort of wallowing in that self pity, right? Like, I have these mental models now born out of experience that I can latch on to because they actually like are my experience to say, go do it, just move forward, things are gonna work out.

David Earnhardt 41:54
That’s awesome. And I really like that to have, you know, you have a track record track record of success for you know, listening to, in this case, your father, but also, in a lot of cases, the, the inner monologue of you know, do it right, do the right thing. You know, even if it’s even if it’s hard, even if it’s challenging, it ended up working out for you. I really like that. Thank you for that. That’s a cool story. Oh, yeah. Well, I always like to take this opportunity to give our guests the opportunity to kind of pay it forward and to think about, maybe someone that they know, that has a really cool job, and why? Hmm, let’s see, probably.

Josh Dorfman 42:39
Um, who do I know who has a really cool job? And why? Well, I think that, um, so when I started, so this actually is not about sustainability. This is more so my experience here in Nashville. When I mentioned I ran this organization, venture Asheville, to work on startups and help entrepreneurs. It was part of, of what here in Nashville is the Economic Development Corporation. So it’s really the economic development organizations, a private public partnership, to really help the entire economy of Asheville in this county, grow, flourish, create opportunity. And I think, you know, a friend of mine who who was actually recruited me when I built venture Asheville now runs that group. His name is Clark Duncan, here in town. And I think Clark has a really cool job, because Clark’s job is to think about, he has a great team that works for them, recruiting companies here that will be that fit our community that see themselves in our community that will create opportunities for those who are in our community today. And the children of those people who are moving here right now. So there’s a there’s a cool recruiting aspect about telling the national story. And then a lot of the work is about helping companies that are here, find the resources they need to grow and thrive and, and stay here, so that they also see their future here. So they’re not actually moving to other places for opportunity. But all of that, I just think is really neat. And I think the cool thing about doing that work in Nashville, you know, we have massive, I mean, corporations here. I mean, obviously we have awesome local businesses. And it’s I mean, we all know like what makes Nashville so special. But you combine that with like General Electric GE has, like they make, you know, engines for airplanes here, like the most fuel efficient engines in the world are made here, and 10 minutes from downtown. And I remember talking with the woman who was running human resources for GE, she was here for a stint before she went back to Cincinnati where they’re headquartered. And we were talking and she was like, you know, Asheville is such an interesting place because it’s small enough for everyone to know each other. But it’s big enough to attract companies like us. The so I feel again, so as someone who’s really passionate about economic development, this just a student of it like to think about it. You know, Clark’s job is Nemo, how do you harness all of that opportunity of an incredible community and make that community stronger and more vibrant as we think about like, resiliency, and sustainability on a more city wide or community wide level, I just think that’s really engaging work to be able to be part of. So I think he’s got a pretty cool

David Earnhardt 45:27
job. That’s cool. I like that. And cars are good, too. So it’s, he’s always he’s in the right job, and you got the right person for it, too. So. Okay, well, thank you so much for being a part of the the podcast and sharing your time and energy with us. How can our listeners find out more about you and about plants.

Josh Dorfman 45:48
So to find out about planted, you could go to our website, which is planted materials calm, I’ll spell the planted part p l, a, n t d. So planting and sign up for our newsletter, find all of our social. I do most of my personal posting on social media on LinkedIn. So that’s probably the easiest way to find what I’m talking about and connect with me personally. And so if anyone’s listening and wants to reach out, please, by all means do and would be happy to see where those conversations go.

David Earnhardt 46:23
Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Josh, for sharing your time and your expertise and your really cool job with us. Really appreciate it.

Josh Dorfman 46:32
Thank you, David. I really enjoyed it. That was a lot of fun.

David Earnhardt 46:34
Thanks for listening to The Cool Jobs Podcast, a service of the Career Center at UNC Asheville. Like what you heard? Give us a like, share with your friends and subscribe. Next week we’ll be talking to Tracy V. Wilson, History Storyteller, so make sure to check it out. We’ll see you next time.

Cool Jobs and Internships 3/21

Good morning!

Some fun ones this week including a video intern at NASA, a local job as a social work trainee with Buncombe County, and a local internship in historical preservation.


Cool Jobs:

Grants Administrator I – NC Department of Administration

Project Manager (Information Systems Specialist 7) IT Modernization at Department of Justice, State of Oregon

Associate Producer at WPLG, Inc. Local 10 News

Communications Coordinator at Urban Sustainability Directors Network 

Early career positions at GOOGLE

Research Assistant – Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Sentry

Cool Internships:

Summer 2022 Domestic Program Intern (remote position) at Center for Economic and Policy Research

Intern, Restorative Justice Project at Impact Justice

Video/Media Production Internship at Snap Raise

 (IBM Taiwan 2022 Summer Intern) Associate Data Scientist at IBM China

 Year-Round Graduate Intern – Wildlife Biologist at National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Purpose and Inclusion Specialist – and Assistant NPI Buyer Internships at FOX Factory, Inc.

CE Contracts Internship – Summer 2022 – Remote at Pratt & Whitney, a Raytheon Technologies Company (RTX)

Wildlife Protection Intern – Summer at The Humane Society of the United States

Summer intern at Chewy  

Video Development Summer Intern at NASA

Cool Local Jobs:

Administrative Assistant, Commercial Leasing at Biltmore Farms

Business Services Coordinator at UNC Asheville – Office of Human Resources

Social Work Trainee at Buncombe County

Lead Storyteller, Haywood Street

Self Help Group Coordinator at Mountain Projects

Executive Director at Haywood Waterways Association

School Admissions Counselor at Eagle’s Nest Foundation and The Outdoor Academy

iOS Developer at EcoBot

Catalyst Small Business Lender at Mountain BizWorks

Cool local internships:

Historical Archiving and Preservation Intern at Biltmore Farms

Intern, Strategy & Communications, Asheville, NC at Council Advisors (formerly G100 Companies)

Marketing – Digital and Video at Harvest Array, Inc.

My thoughts for the week:
The January unemployment rate for the Asheville metro was announced, and is up just a hair from the December rate at 3.1%.  This level mirrors the pre-pandemic levels of unemployment in our community and signals a robust employment market.  There were just over 10,000 open positions, and about 6,700 people unemployed in our metro.  

Whenever I quote stats about the number of open positions in our region, the next question I usually get is “well, what kinds of jobs are open though?” There are lots of “now hiring” signs up in the community, and I think there’s a natural inclination to think those are the only jobs in our economy.  Below is a visual breakdown of the unemployment data in our region:


(All of this data can be found here but FYI the image above is a compilation of multiple reports)

It can be tempting to look at the volume of positions in specific sectors (healthcare, retail, etc.) and get the impression that because our economy has some monolithic industries, those are the “only” types of jobs we have.  

But looking at the local jobs I highlighted today tells a slightly different story.  Each benefit from (or require) an undergraduate degree available at UNCA, pays the living wage for our region or better, and offer full-time benefits and opportunities to grow. There’s more than meets the eye in our region, and the Career Center can help you find it!  Come see us.

Here’s to a great week,


Endangered species advocate: Cool Jobs Podcast


american chestnut, people, chestnut, unc asheville, tree, learning, work, internships, foundation, experience, graduate, little bit, organization, day, communications, ecosystem, thought, social media channels, identify, mission


Samantha Bowers, David Earnhardt, Tamia Dame

David Earnhardt  00:00

Hi, I’m David, and I’m the host of the Cool Jobs Podcast, a conversation where we dive deep into some of the coolest jobs on the planet. This is the home for jobs you’ve never heard of, or ones you’ve never thought about before. This podcast is for students, learners, dreamers, or anyone who’s interested in finding out about the coolest jobs around. I’ll be speaking with experts across a wide spectrum of career possibilities with the hope that you will find inspiration for your own career. Thanks for joining in. I’m your host David Earnhardt, Associate Director for Employer Relations at UNC Asheville. And joining me today is Samantha Bowers, and Tamia Dame, Endangered Species Advocates. Samantha and Tamia, thanks so much for joining us for the for The Cool Jobs Podcast. We’re super excited you’re here.

Samantha Bowers  00:44

Thanks so much, David. Thanks for having me.

Tamia Dame  00:49

yeah. Glad to be here as a UNC Asheville alum myself as well as Sam, it’s awesome to be here today.

David Earnhardt  00:57

We always like talking to alums, especially after they have seen the outside world past past UNC Asheville. We always love talking to y’all. So if you don’t mind, take us through what you’ve done. Since your time at UNC Asheville. Where have you gone? Where have you been? Tell us a little bit about your background.

Samantha Bowers  01:16

Well, to me, I’ll jump in and then you can follow after. So first off, I’ll just say that I’m born and raised North Carolinian lived half my life across Marine Corps bases and then the other half of my life here in these Appalachian Mountains, starting with my attendance at USAA. So I’m a first generation college graduate of my family. And I remember being so intimidated by college like what the hell does a credit even mean? How do you choose between 1215 18 credits in a semester if you’ve never been exposed to a university system in any way? So maybe I’ll just leave it as my quick little background summary to allow some time for me to jump in on that too.

Tamia Dame  02:17

Awesome. Yeah, I our stories actually are a little bit the same as you know, being born and raised North Carolinian first gen a generation graduate of UNC Asheville. Got my degree in environmental management and policy and graduated in summer of 2020. While I was at UNC Asheville, I did a number of internships. Thanks to having some great connections while I was in school, I got to work alongside southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Asheville, Greenworks mountain true and a bunch of organizations in between, which has helped me land my current position with the American Chestnut Foundation, that is probably about the quickest kind of that experience I could possibly give you. But you know, there’s always a lot of a lot of steps in between.

Samantha Bowers  03:16

and Estonia is such a rockstar her resume is already as long as mine is and I graduated from USDA with a biology degree in 2004.

David Earnhardt  03:30

Well, it’s, you know, you Lynx is only one measurement. So think about it that way, you know, experiences. Exactly. So you both at UNC Asheville graduates, a little bit of time in between, in between your graduation periods. So I know Samantha, we were talking before about how you were working in nonprofit work beforehand. And then to media, you were doing internships. So just kind of curious about your your, those the experiences that you had that brought you into your current role with the American Chestnut Foundation. So tell us a little bit about like, what you did post grant, or I guess pre grad for you too.

Tamia Dame  04:15

Well, I can go for it. Yeah, I can jump in on this one. So my studies being in environmental science. I had the opportunity, like I mentioned to do internships with a number of organizations and most of those internships were communications based. It was kind of a several hybrid experiences of working in the office and in the field. And I found particularly that my skills in communications were kind of what kept me kept me in landing positions and able to create opportunities to work in organizations. on social media and on their websites, working in blogs and sending newsletters and things, so I got a good bit of experience while I was in college with that sort of work. And yes, then as soon as I actually applied for my current position with ta CF, shortly before the pandemic shut everything down in the spring semester of 2020. And so there was a little bit of chaos as natural at that time, and I ended up being able to start my job with T. ACF, in March of 2021. They reached back out to me in October of 2020, after having to close the position for a short period of time. And eventually they got back in touch with me asked me if I was still around, still interested. And I was able to get, you know, start my position as communications coordinator, which looks a lot like the internships that I did prior, of course, with a lot, a lot more to it now. So that was basically kind of how that progression went.

Samantha Bowers  06:19

Nice. And so I know for a fact that I would not be where I am career wise, without my degree from UNC Asheville. I got my first job after graduating from a fellow UNC A alum who was working at a recruiting firm. And that’s James Carter, and he’s actually now the chair of the Asheville City Board of Education. So within months of graduating, my umca network had paid off. So it’s more than just a degree right? I mean, this is a holistic experience that you’ve referenced on your daily Accord as you go through your day to day life. I mean, I still reference or think of the freshman year experience where I went on my first backpacking trip ever nice and just got to learn how to persevere through discomfort of hiking up mountains with blisters. became a lifelong lover of hummus and chocolate with sandals. I’ve never heard of any of those. And I learned the idiot check method where you need to always like double and triple check yourself on things such as the lid screwed on to the salt shaker before you add it on to the group’s only dinner after Heikki seven miles that day. Because our dinner was ruined the entire Salt container fell into the suit. It was a lifelong lessons learned at UNC a bachelor.

David Earnhardt  08:12

That’s awesome and lifelong lessons that that you can always take with you right like regardless of where you are you you’re at home, you’re at the supermarket you’re on you’re on the trail, you’re checking the top and salt salt shaker. Well, we, we titled this this podcast endangered species advocates, because the work you’re doing is is really interesting with the American Chestnut Foundation. And so I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about the the American Chestnut as an endangered species and also how your work actually intersects with the larger roles inside of the organization and how it goes to be advocates for endangered species.

Samantha Bowers  09:04

Okay, so for starters, the American chestnuts was a tree that populated the entire US including some of the southern parts of Canada region, there were 4 billion American chestnut trees prior to the accidental introduction of a fungal pathogen, which is called cry for neck Tria parasitica. And this fungus killed or reduced, I should say, reduced 4 billion trees to root sprouts in a matter of 40 years. Wow. That’s just phenomenal, just catastrophic. Yeah, it’s like one of the largest catastrophes in the natural world that we know of on record. And so working for this organization just has so many ripple effects and it’s more than just The American chestnut is the entire ecosystem that was dependent upon this species. I mean, we’re talking about everything from the endangered Hellbender salamander that feeds on frog tadpoles of which the frog tadpoles feed on the leaf litter of the American Chestnut, or I should say, fed on the leaf litter a century ago. So the ecosystem of the tadpoles has diminished, which is now resulting in the Hellbender salamander being endangered. So it’s just like this amazing ripple effect that you start to become privy to when you look into a species that’s termed a foundation species, like the American Chestnut. So the American Chestnut sets the foundation for the entire Appalachian ecosystem. And it’s considered endangered. And it also is referred to as functionally extinct, because there are still a couple 100 million specimens of American chestnut in our forest. But they can only grow for anywhere from like 510 or 15 years. And they’re so few and far between that they cannot pollinate amongst each other to create a self sustaining population. So that’s why it’s termed functionally extinct, even though you can still go hiking and find that American chestnut, anywhere along the Appalachian Trail, for example. So it’s just such a phenomenal, hopeful mission to be a part of that we hope can also be replicated across other endangered tree species, such as the hemlock, and the ash of which are dying right now today outside of my window in my neighborhood. So we’re just really hopeful to kind of get some groundwork settled for other networks of endangered trees to not have to go through the same 40 years of experience that we’ve been through, hopefully, they can expedite their processes, since we’ve already done the hard work.

David Earnhardt  12:11

Right on. And so if you don’t mind digging into your actual, your actual role a little bit as far as what you what you do, from a advocacy perspective, what your role, how it intersects with the work that the organization does.

Samantha Bowers  12:27

So I am the director of philanthropy and External Affairs. And what I do on a day to day basis is target fundraising avenues across all kinds of mediums. So we’re talking about state, federal and private philanthropy. So I do a lot of research. So one of the fun parts is putting on my investigator hat, and researching groups that fund work like ours. And if it looks like a good fit, then I pull together our program staff and write a compelling grant. And then you cross your fingers. And wait, wait, wait. And hopefully you get that, Yay, we got a grant. And everybody gets to celebrate and move our mission forward. So it’s really fun, to be able to be an investigator and put these pieces together of people that have money. People that want to support environmental work, and then making our pitch to them, and seeing them get just as excited as we are enough so that they invest in our mission, invest in this hopeful change of an entire ecosystem. It’s just so fantastic to see those outcomes take place.

David Earnhardt  13:46

That’s amazing. Yeah, I can imagine that you get to, you get to share the successes of prior of prior work and also share this the future success as you’re looking at bringing in bringing grants and keeping people like to be on the payroll and and also being able to do her great work. So to me if you would mind jumping in and talking about how your work intersects with the mission there at the America Foundation.

Tamia Dame  14:14

Yeah, absolutely. So just once again, my title is communications coordinator at T ACF. And so my role in working just kind of broadly with marketing and communications encompasses a lot. So there’s a large educational component to doing communications for an organization that is so expansive in its scientific research and in its impact across the eastern United States. So there’s a lot of educating about our, our research about our scientific methods about the organization itself. And the day to day actual restoration work that is taking place from Maine to Alabama. So I myself kind of fell in love with this position because I say it all the time. If I could be a career student, I would I love learning and the learning curve to really getting acclimated at ta CF was was amazing to me. So I’m constantly learning more about, you know, what biotechnology is what, you know, how we are using our germ plasm conservation orchards in our restoration orchards and mobilizing our volunteers across this large amount of space to set up a restoration plan that is going to span generations. And a lot of our work is just based in advocacy, it’s based in passion, it’s based in hope it’s based in love. And it’s it’s a type of work that it is a multi generational mission, it’s one that we’re going to be passing down to, to our children and possibly grandchildren. And so it’s really fun to use my platforms, you know, my role of using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and also communicating with our membership base and people who sign up for our newsletter to communicate just what it is that we do and how it’s done. Because that’s, that is half of that’s half of the challenge is really being able to communicate such a large mission to so many people in a way that’s accessible.

Samantha Bowers  17:00

Yeah, it’s complex, right? Like that was one of you and I’s goals, to me is taking this very complex scientific literature in reducing it down into layman’s terms to inspire action within our 5000 member base.

Tamia Dame  17:17

Absolutely, you’re talking about the right way to put it.

David Earnhardt  17:22

You were talking about the ecosystem that is supported by the chestnut tree and it sounds to me like there’s a little bit of an ecosystem that is the the work and advocacy that you all are doing that is generational, and that involves so many different stakeholders and bring so many people, different people on board. So it’s, it’s yeoman’s work, it’s really, really impactful. Just hearing the story that you’re telling so far. I’m wondering if you have what I think passion and and, and excitement and and hope gives you a long way in the work that you’re doing and in fairness, any kind of nonprofit work, it almost demands that you have a certain amount of passion and a certain amount of commitments. it as a result, and I’m curious, on those days, where you’re feeling a little less passionate, and you’re feeling a little less driven toward the mission, I wonder what take what brings you out of it. I’m wondering how you how you’re able to stay on mission and on focus, even on the days where we’re, that’s kind of hard.

Samantha Bowers  18:31

Well, let me share a little story with you that I kind of put myself in almost like my happy place. And so I grew up with my dad taking me through the woods of eastern North Carolina, where he taught me about nature, he was a hunter, and he taught me how to tell the difference between trees just solely by their bark structure. So my father instilled a passion of the forest in me and in high school. A friend of mine, who now works at the Atlanta zoo, her and I spoke of our dreams to restore the rainforest. And we were trying to figure out like, how do we do this, even though we’re just only in high school right now? Like how do we apply our passion about all things biology. So today, like a dream that I thought was intangible Saving the Rainforest, it’s come true. I’m now part of a team that is restoring a temperate rainforest with the return of the iconic American chestnut. So when I’m feeling down or low or something’s not going the way that I think it should go, I just kind of sit with myself and say, dude, like my dream has come true. I am in a good place. This is this is great.

David Earnhardt  19:54

your teenage self is is cheering on the inside. That’s

Tamia Dame  19:59

That’s awesome. Yeah, I would echo everything that Sam said. And in addition to that, really the cultural significance of the American Chestnut Tree is something that’s always fascinating to me the multitude of ways that it has been used across a multitude of cultures throughout history, as, you know, a variety of resources as food as medicine as lumber. You know, it’s a, I correct me if I’m wrong, Sam, but it is a cradle to grave tree, in the sense that every part of the tree is usable. And not only that, but the passion of our our supporters of our members is something that’s always incredibly inspiring to me, even if I’m not feeling particularly inspired myself that day. Working on our social media channels, I, every once in a while, get comments from people who are, you know, 8090 years old, saying, I remember having a great, you know, large chestnut tree, and my grandparents front lawn, and I love that tree. And I love kicking around the burrs. And, you know, people just really, really relish those memories and just kind of being able to listen to them telling those stories and, and kind of really being able to tell how much this means to people across the native range of the American chestnut tree. And beyond that, I mean, you know, chestnut enthusiast come from far and wide. We’ll have, we have had, yeah, so we’ve had people interested in our work, from my perspective, I’ve seen as far as Russian people, you know, interested in and trying to grow American chestnut trees, which is incredibly interesting to me. So a lot of that more than the person aspect, the cultural aspect is what I find inspiring even on my worst day,

David Earnhardt  22:19

I can imagine. All I’m thinking about is the frozen tundra of the Northern Siberia and covered a chestnut trees, that would just be awesome to me. That’s cool it well. So the work a lot of it sounds like a lot of the work you’re doing is kind of around the idea of kind of keeping people engaged and keeping folks committed to the mission in you know, in a variety of ways, either by storytelling, or through bringing in grants or through doing the science and then sharing that information. I wonder if you could share a little bit about maybe one of the reasons, one of the goals of the podcasts that we have is to is to kind of talk about resilience. And to talk a little bit about why how folks kind of bounce back from, from things that may be a challenge that they weren’t anticipating. And so I’m curious, if you would share a story about maybe an idea that you had that you thought, Man, this is gonna be a total winner, it’s gonna be awesome. This is gonna work and everybody’s gonna love it. And it of not being not being so successful. And then maybe the opposite of that, you know, telling a story of something that you’re like, you know what, I’ll just take a flyer on this, we’ll see what happens. And then and it worked out.

Samantha Bowers  23:37

Do you want to jump into me? Oh,

Tamia Dame  23:40

yeah, sure. The fourth thing that I thought of was the beginning of our 2021 End of Year appeal, I worked with a couple of my colleagues to develop a an incredibly comprehensive plan across our, our email marketing and our social media to really engage people for the end of your appeal and for giving Tuesday. And so a part of my plan was learning how to run Facebook ads. And I spent a lot of time really digging into the logistics of how to do that, trying to figure out everything out, you know, trying to identify our target audience and identifying very specific areas of interest to target this advertisement to draw people back to our Facebook page where they can learn more. And so in identifying our target audience, I listed each one of the individual states that we work in the States, Maine to Alabama, and the native range of the American chestnut tree. And once I ran the ad, it wasn’t until a couple days later that I realized when I had intended to identify the state of Georgia, I accidentally identified the nation of Georgia. And so the app was wildly successful with Georgian people and results in a reach of almost 31,000 people, almost all of which, who actually went back and visited our website, because I’m sure they were confused. Why am I seeing something about the American Chestnut Tree? What is even going on here? So that was, that was definitely a learning experience for me.

David Earnhardt  25:27

Maybe that’s why you’re so popular in Russia,

Tamia Dame  25:29

maybe that’s it, hey, leveraging audiences across across the globe, you know, can’t lose with that. But it wasn’t exactly what I had planned. So that was a learning experience for me. And you know, going forth from that I was able to correct that mistake, so that we could identify are more accurate results of our Facebook advertising. And so that’s, that’s been great. And that’s a story that, you know, I’ll always be able to laugh at, because it was just so, so comical. And as far as something that I did not expect to be as successful as it was, was really the growth of our social media channels in general, it can be hard to anticipate coming into a new position where you’re working in social media exactly what the impact is going to be, and what the timeline for that impact is going to be. So I believe, as of the last time that I checked, since I began in the very beginning with T ACF, in March of 2021, our Facebook and Instagram reach and engagement has jumped like almost 300%, that’s awesome. are, you know, it’s amazing. And that’s within less than one year. So really being able to come into this position and identify a strategy for putting content in front of people that is entertaining, and it’s informational. And it teaches people about the tree and about the science and about the organization and what we’re doing and highlighting our volunteers and all of that great stuff has really paid off. So it’s not that I didn’t think it was going to be that successful. But it was just hard to imagine when I began way back in March of 2021, starting my first full time job out of college with a degree in environmental studies. Also, may I say not communications, it would have been hard to imagine exactly how successful this this has actually ended up being.

David Earnhardt  27:51

That’s awesome. Congratulations. And that’s a big deliverable that you can sit down at your interview your review with your supervisor and be able to say so look, here’s here’s what I got for you. This is my deliverable, this last

Samantha Bowers  28:03

race please. So I so appreciate, to Mia and her ability to really apply strategic thought to our social media channels, it’s been so phenomenal to watch the growth that she’s been able to have occur in such a short amount of time. So one of my guiding principles is simple as best. And that’s somewhat in line with our comms razor. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with autumns razor, but like the explanation of that is if there’s something that requires the fewest assumptions, that is usually the right answer, like don’t overcomplicate things, usually the answer is the simplest one. So that’s kind of like one of the mottos of my life is simple as best. Sometimes that can lead me to like taking shortcuts and this quest of efficiency. But you know, what’s interesting is it also kind of leads me towards more of like a procrastination, personality. But I will have you know, that it’s been proven that if you allow more time for projects or you create more space, it allows more creativity to flourish. I would recommend the listeners to tune into a 2016 TED talk on this. It spied the I think he’s organized organizational psychologist Adam Grant, and he was able to show that procrastination gives you time to consider divergent ideas. It allows you time to learn and reflect on any setbacks. that may come back. And then you can incorporate those lessons into your final work. So as a result, if you’re able to allow the appropriate amount of time to examine your tasks that are assigned, you can include so much more creativity with your completed outcome. So this, he is essentially a proponent of procrastination. That kind of leads into like this project that I had, or this idea that I had the American Chestnut Foundation that I sat on for years. And now we’re in the midst of product development for a chestnut Learning Kit, where this is a hands on learning tool, where people can build a free standing wooden chestnut arch, it’s made of little chestnut blocks. And these blocks, each block represents a species that is dependent upon the American Chestnut, as in the Hellbender salamander that we previously talked about here on this podcast. And each one of these blocks builds this arch that has been supported by the American Chestnut, which is the foundation species. So the American Chestnut, is setting the foundation of this arch. And the foundation is so supportive that it allows additional pressures to be placed upon this arch, such as like you put climate change on top, and that adds a lot of weight. And the weight is handled, because the foundation of the American Chestnut is allowing for droughts and floods to hit this ecosystem and still thrive. So it’s just been really fun to like, have sat on this idea of having students, adults, anyone to have this freestanding art they can build to represent and teach them like what a foundation species is what is a keystone species within that arch ecosystem. And I’m just so excited to get this product finalized and out the door in front of people to start learning hands on with the American Chestnut story.

David Earnhardt  32:28

That’s awesome. Gives you a lot of room I think as well to to think about it as something that could stay stay a part of someone’s home decor after after you complete the project with the kids and and do the do the lesson piece of it, there might be a way to incorporate it as a Christmas ornament or put a make it a foundational piece that you build around your house too. So that’s awesome. I like that. It sounds like a cool, a cool possibility. I’m looking forward to hearing the results of that if folks are jumping in and diving in and in in in impactful ways. That’s that’d be fun to see. I’ll get you one that’s excellent. So I wonder if you could highlight a little bit we talked a little bit about your time since UNC Asheville and and today you highlighted about being an environmental studies major and and I wonder if you could just talk about how you use your major in your current work i or if you don’t that’s totally fine. I just curious how how you find your you found your higher education experience overlaps with your current work.

Tamia Dame  33:45

Absolutely. It’s something that I’ve actually myself been reflecting on for quite a while how it’s interesting, I began my studies in the field of environmental and I have kind of combined that interest with a particular skip set of skills that I have always found myself just constantly building on whenever I first started college back in 2015. I did not even intend to major in environmental studies I thought I was going to major in English. I have always had strong skills in writing and so I really thought that English was going to be the best way to you know, utilize that. And then somewhere along the way actually very, very early in the first month I would say of my college career. I found myself completely fascinated by environmental studies. I just I for one love the environmental studies the Hartman at UNC Asheville, all of the instructors are wonderful, the classes are just so, so fascinating and so great. I had a great time I’m in, you know, in that, that field of study, and I all kind of run through a little bit of my more nuanced story. At one point, I found myself really kind of struggling in school I didn’t know I was like this is these classes are really cool. But I have no idea what I’m going to do with this degree, I have no experience, I’ve had no exposure to this field, my grades were slipping. And I just was getting really discouraged to the point where I actually considered just dropping out of college. And so I ended up meeting with one of my former instructors, and I was telling her a little bit about, you know, my thoughts and what I was going through. And she heard in what I was saying that what I really wanted was experience. And, you know, her being local to the area and knowing people and knowing, you know, having having a network that she exposed me to that and helped set me up for the experiences that eventually brought me back to UNC Asheville, I left for I think three semesters and took courses at AB Tech, just to have a chance to breathe, get my core requirements out of the way and then come back with some experience in my tool belt, ready to buckle down and graduate. And so that’s exactly what happened 2017 through 2019, each one of those summers, I was able to pursue an internship experience with local environmental nonprofit. And that is where it kind of got to, I was working in the environmental field, but I found myself doing a lot of communications work. So flash forward to now I see that entire experience as I may not end up working for the National Park Service, like I thought I might in 2018. But I have a foundation on which to build and a foundation that serves me in my work at TCF. Because I do already know a little bit about how trees work and how to identify them, and how to communicate about ecology. And so a lot of those basic building blocks from my, my college experience in environmental studies helped to lead me to utilizing my skills in communications and writing and also my interest in ecology and the natural environment. So that’s a pretty long winded way to put it. But it was it’s, I would not have taken back any part of that experience. If I could do it all over again, I do with the same,

David Earnhardt  38:19

huh. That’s awesome that it’s such a cool like story of resilience to write of like, you know, recognizing that there’s something missing in your experience being going and finding it finding ways to to fill those gaps by speaking with faculty members, gaining experience with you know, taking a little time in between. You’re, you’re you weren’t so beholden to this four year graduation plan that I think a lot of folks feel like they have to be and you’re able to come out on the other side and be able to do some really cool work as a result. I think that’s a beautiful story. Thanks for Thanks for sharing that.

Samantha Bowers  38:55

That’s awesome. Thank you. Yeah, and similar to to me, I also took advantage of the community college sector as well. Every summer I took classes at community college back where my mom lived on the coast. For one it was a little cheaper. And I wanted to graduate four years because I was happy to take out loans. And I didn’t want to be so far in debt by the time I graduated that it was just another level of intimidation entering the workforce. So I am thinking back over my time at USAA and I can talk forever about all of the amazing experiences I had but some of them that come is kind of core ways of molding my time there and finalizing it with a degree is I took advantage of the resident assistant job opportunity there, that was an amazing opportunity to build your network, you start out building your professional skills really early on, because they have such a great training program there with like customer service, training opportunities, and then the application there of like in the I lived in Founders Hall for four years. I grew up in a military base where or bases where we moved all the time, right. So it was like the first time in my life where I was able to decide where I could live. Stayed in Founders Hall for four years, and it was amazing. And I was a resident assistant. And it was just such a great, a great group of people that were resident assistants that I’m still friends with today, like close friends with today. So like 20 years later, I’m still friends with the resident assistants that I worked alongside. I also took advantage of some of the mentoring Pro or edit. I’m not even sure what they were called, I guess, mentoring slash editing opportunities at umca, where I had helped with papers I wrote, and I still hear those students that were editing my papers, when I’m writing papers for grant proposals today, like even this is not clear. Like you need to define this before you can go into detail, like I still hear their voices in my head, like to this day. So taking advantage of the editing opportunities was phenomenal. And also, I remember taking advantage of the math tutoring, as well when I was in statistics and trying to get all those formulas, right.

David Earnhardt  41:49

I’ve mentioned before that I have never worked harder for a b minus in my life than I went on to the statistics course. So you are not alone and

Samantha Bowers  41:58

is learning those Excel skills. My gosh, you have to have Excel skills, Microsoft Excel skills. So that was a really great foundation, getting statistics courses under my belt.

David Earnhardt  42:11

Absolutely. So it sounds like taking, taking advantage of some of the resources on campus in the tutoring center and in the Math Center. And then also it sounds like taking, taking advantage of the camaraderie that comes along with with a duty shift on on a night in the residence halls. Makes you look back fondly on your experience at UNC Asheville. That’s awesome. Yes. Well, as we start to bring the podcast to a close, I wonder if you can tell me somebody that you think has a cool job and why.

Samantha Bowers  42:48

So continuing on the resident assistant network that I built and still in friends with individuals or keeping in contact with them is someone on Wattana where he, we called him or he goes by the name of solute. And his he was a part of the International Student Association at USDA. He was a student with me and a resident system at the same time that I was his parents and extended family live in India. And so he is a first generation American and came to America to go to UNC Asheville. He is currently a manufacturing engineer here in Asheville at Thermo Fisher, and he helped build out the needed ultra low temperature freezers for preserving the COVID-19 vaccines. And that to me was just so cool to see that he had a hand in this current pandemic and was able to build out and ship out these freezers like instantly.

David Earnhardt  43:53

Hmm, that’s cool. Being a part of the vaccine supply chain that was necessary in order to get the vaccine ship. That’s awesome. That’s really cool.

Tamia Dame  44:07

As I would have to say I’m gonna bring it back to T ACF and say that our regional science coordinators have very cool jobs. So just to give a little bit of context to that there is one regional science coordinator per region that the organization works in from the south up to the north. And those folks get to work with members and volunteers. They are in the field. They are in the labs. They are providing educational opportunities. We have a monthly chestnut chat that is hosted by one of our wonderful regional science coordinators, therapists Semmens. They really get to dig into the regions where they’re located and mobilize the people in that area. and take advantage of media opportunities to continue spreading the word farther and wider about the work of TCF in the history of the American chestnut tree. And their work is just so it’s so vast in a sense that it is both intimidating. I’m all the time like all of you guys are so diligent to be able to keep up with all of the needs of the chapters that they oversee. And there is just so much that goes into the work of THCs regional science coordinators, and I just find it very, very cool.

David Earnhardt  45:42

Awesome. That’s pretty cool. I like that I both have both of your cool jobs for science. Oh, yeah. That’s awesome. Like that. Science and Engineering was like

Samantha Bowers  45:51

that. Yes. Yeah, to me and I are in the soft science realms of the American Chestnut Foundation, and all of our programs stuff, staffer in the hard science realm. Nice.

Tamia Dame  46:06

They balance each other out.

David Earnhardt  46:10

Very cool. Well, I want to say thank you so much for being a part of the podcast and and sharing your experiences with us to talk a little bit about the, the, the work that you’re doing, and it’s really impactful work. And I really appreciate you being willing to share some of your day away from that impactful work to talk about it with our listeners. How can folks learn more about about you and about the American justice foundation?

Tamia Dame  46:37

Well, you know, I must, I am obligated to plug our social media channels, keep up with the American Chestnut Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, visit our website, you can learn anything you could possibly want to learn about the history of the American Chestnut, and what is being done to bring it back, tune in to our monthly chestnut chats sign up for our E newsletters to get all kinds of updates from us. And yeah, you can guarantee that I will be behind a lot of those communications. As far as keeping up with me if anyone has questions about my work, or the American Chestnut Foundation, you can always shoot me an email, my email, I believe, can be found on the website. But it is to me And yeah, I’m happy to talk with people, talking with people and having conversations is another one of my favorite parts of having this job.

David Earnhardt  47:35

Very cool. Thanks so much for sharing that. I’ll make sure to put links in the description of this episode as well.

Tamia Dame  47:41

Great, thanks.

Samantha Bowers  47:43

Fantastic. And people can sync up with me on LinkedIn, they can email me at I would be happy to talk with any student about my experience in the biology department. If anybody is interested in possible internships with us, please reach out, we’ll be happy to talk with you work with you. Help expose you to a broader network. And to me, I hit all of the highlights for how to engage with JCF because that is her expertise.

David Earnhardt  48:20

Very cool. Well, thank you so much, to me that Sam for sharing your time and your expertise and your really cool jobs with us. I appreciate it.

Samantha Bowers  48:28

Thanks so much, David. This has been such a joy and a pleasure to be with you.

Tamia Dame  48:33

Yes, thank you. This has been great.

David Earnhardt  48:35

Thanks for listening to The Cool Jobs Podcast, a service of the Career Center at UNC Asheville. Like what you heard? Give us a like, share with your friends and subscribe. Next week we’ll be talking to Josh Dorfman, Sustainable Materials Creator so make sure to check it out. See you next time.

Cool Jobs and Internships 3/14

Good morning everyone, 

Some fun ones this week including a job researching vegetables, one researching EV infrastructure, quite a few local positions that caught my eye, and an internship at JetBlue.  

FYI, in partnership with SECU, The Career Center has extended the application deadline for Public Fellows internships at Forest Keeper, the Western Carolina Medical Society, the Humane Society, the SBTDC, and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.  These are paid full time internships over the summer with some great local nonprofits, check ’em out and apply!


Cool Jobs

Case Administrator at U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota

Study Abroad Advisor I at Iowa State University

Mid-Level Systems Engineer Level 3 at The Boeing Company

Human Resources Assistant (Full-Time) at William Peace University

Assistant Registrar at Cape Fear Community College

Planning and Environmental Coordinator at Bureau of Land Management

Vegetable Research Technician at Rodale Institute

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Researcher at Electric Power Research Institute

Cool Internships

Rural Forward Program Assistant Summer Internship and Dan Broun Summer Internship at MDC (Raleigh NC)

Democracy Summer with DemocracyNC  Applications due today!

Undergraduate Public Affairs Video Production Intern at City of Austin – Corporate Human Resource Department

Watershed Internship at Fayetteville Public Works Commission

JET Summer Intern People at JetBlue

Undergraduate Internship (year round) – Algae Biotechnology at National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Cool Local Jobs

Software Developer I at MAHEC 

Website Administrator with Buncombe County Government

3 great opportunities at Advanced Superabrasives, local family company great place to start!

City Editor, GVLtoday

Library Specialist  and Tax Systems Technician at Buncombe County

Corporate Recruiter at Townsquare Interactive (Charlotte)

Surgical Assistant at Advanced Dermatology & Skin Surgery

Store Associate Craggy Gardens at America’s National Parks

NC Medicaid Ombudsman at Pisgah Legal Services

Cool Local Internships

State Employees’ Credit Union Branch Intern at State Employees Credit Union

Eaton Intern – Manufacturing Engineer (Summer) – Arden, NC at Eaton

My thoughts for the week:

The NCAA men’s and women’s college basketball championship brackets were announced yesterday, and March Madness will begin tomorrow!  Growing up in North Carolina, I used to love March Madness because I had teachers who would show the games in class, and it was on in the lunchroom all day.  My mom and I would watch the selection shows with pencil and paper and frantically write out the match ups as they were announced on screen.  It was a month long EVENT.  It wasn’t until I got to college that I realized that some people might not care about it. 

I was an N.C. State basketball fan, due largely to the team in 1983, the “team of destiny.” They won the NCAA Championship when Derrick Whittenburg’s desperate heave fell well short, but Lorenzo Charles’s hands appeared from out of nowhere to dunk the basketball and win the game.  That game is memorialized by their coach Jim Valvano frantically running around the court after the game winner trying to find someone to hug.  

There are so many “remember where you were when” moments that we have in life…the moon landing, JFK’s assanation, 9/11, and for me, seeing Jimmy V fly around the court is one of them.  I watched ESPN’s 30 for 30 on that team over the weekend, and was struck by a quote from V that seems particularly relevant.

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives.
Number one is to laugh. You should laugh every day.
Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought.
And number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be [sadness] or joy.
But think about it. If you laugh, you think and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heckuva day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

I hope this week brings you laughter, thought, and emotional connection…and with a little luck, an intact bracket by next Monday.


Cool Jobs and Internship 2/28

Some fun ones this week including a job teaching consumer science in Alaska, several internships in biotechnology, and some sweet local positions too!

Also, don’t forget The Internship Event and NextFest are this week so make sure to check ’em out!

Cool Jobs

Healthcare Recruiter (Entry Level Sales) at Maxim Healthcare Services

Group Leader, Quality Assurance Documentation Systems at Catalent

Associate at DLA (David Landau & Assoc.)

Multimedia Journalist at WMBF News

Recruiter II at Thermo Fisher Scientific
Consumer Science Teacher at Lower Kuskokwim School District (AK)

Terrestrial Biology Program Coordinator at Oregon Department of Transportation

Chemist (entry level) at MicroVention-Terumo

Early Careers: Broker/Specialist – Risk & Reinsurance Solutions – GNY at Aon

Automation Controls Engineer at Atom Power

Cool Internships

Several Biotechnology Internships across the state, check ’em out here.  Applications close soon though, so make sure to get your info in ASAP!

Intern – Carrier Sales Representative – Conshohocken, Pa at C.H. Robinson

Cool Local Jobs
Donor Relations Associate at The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina

Human Resources Coordinator at Biltmore Farms

Catalyst Small Business Lender at Mountain BizWorks

Development and Events Coordinator at Eblen Charities

Employee Experience Specialist at Poppy Popcorn

Cool Local Internship

Internship Program – Carolina Region – 2021 – 2022 at The Walsh Group

Cool Post Grad Experience

Catalyst Fellowship at Mountain BizWorks

My thoughts for the week

There’s been a ton of interesting economic data in my news feed this week, ones you’ve likely heard include inflation (CPI) at 7.5%, and the price of gas at $3.61 on average across the country…but one that was a surprise was that St. Louis Federal Reserve bank used to track 30 different types of data for economic forecasting in 1991. Now it’s more than 800,000 different types!  I almost swerved off the road when I heard!

Some other news to note:

  1. East Fork Pottery has raised their minimum wage 22/hr starting in April
  2. Demographics are against the job market as we know it.  There’s just fewer people being born
  3. Gen Z is much more interested in remote work than other generations, and remote positions get 17% more applications than non remote
  4. 3 of 4 full time employees plan to quit their jobs in the next 12 months and 79% of them think they can make more money elsewhere 
  5. Home prices are at record highs up 18.8% across the country

Lastly, as much of the world has turned its attention to Ukraine, I offer this email as a reminder that these situations are traumatic, even if we don’t know anyone involved.  If you would like to talk with someone there are resources available including the Health and Counseling Center here at UNCA, or reduced rate private services through The Open Path Collective.  If you’d like to help those involved affected by the conflict, here are some places to start. 

I wish you all a great week.


Cool Jobs and Internship 2/21

Some fun ones this week include a CEO for a kids museum, an internship building electric pickup trucks, and a management position with Manna Food Bank.


Cool Jobs

Chemist at US Department of Agriculture

Chief Executive Officer, at Marbles Kids Museum 

Insurance Representative at State Employees Credit Union

Tenant Organizer at Housing Counseling Services

Juvenile Court Counselor and Juvenile Court Counselor-Trainee at North Carolina Department of Public Safety

Defined Benefits Administrator at Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

Plant Optimization Engineer – Electrical at Packaging Corporation of America

Cool Internships

A variety of summer internships from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation 

Electrical Engineering Intern – Building Infrastructure Design at Rivian

Summer 2022 Internship in Washington DC! at Nuclear Threat Initiative

Campaign Finance Intern at DEMVP

Cool Local Jobs

Behavior Technician at St Gerard House

Summer Residential Life Coordinator at South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities

Mid-Level Software Engineer at Kopis

Volunteer Attorney Program Coordinator and Donor Engagement and Events Coordinator at Pisgah Legal Services

Agency Relations Manager- Buncombe, at Manna Food Bank

Cool Local Internship

Social Media Intern at Cake Websites & More, LLC

Cool On Campus Job

Student Assistant to the Athletic Director at UNC Asheville – Athletics

My thoughts for the week

We’re just one week away from The Internship Event and NextFest here at UNC Asheville!  Plan to participate, or tell your students and friends about it, as we’re expecting more than 90 organizations to join us over the course of 2 days…all looking for the talent at UNC Asheville!

In case you’re unfamiliar, the Internship Event consists of 20 or so internship sites who hop up on stage and pitch their internships to attendees in the crowd.  Then students can approach those sites with questions, or introduce themselves to find out more about how to apply. 

NextFest is an event where we encourage you to think about “what’s next?”  What’s next for you might be a full or part time job, it might be an internship, it could be a year of service or a seasonal opportunity, or maybe it’s graduate school.  No matter what your “next” is, you’re sure to find it there!  

Looking for a personalized map of who you should see at these events?  Sign up for an “inside scoop” appointment with me next Monday. After I learn a little about what you’d like to see, I’ll point you in the right direction for NextFest and The Internship Event.  Think of it like a customized Cool Jobs and Internships Email just for you.  Hope to see you next week!


Cool Jobs and Internships 2/14

Good morning!

Some fun ones this week including an internship converting biomass to jet fuel, a job supporting elections in Denver, a postgrad storytelling fellowship at NetFlix, and a local position helping the team at Biltmore Farms recruit talent.  

Also, don’t forget we’ll be hosting ServiceTrade on campus in a couple of weeks for interviews. Check out their job here and apply!


Cool Jobs

Elections Support Specialist – Clerk and Recorder at City and County of Denver

Mid- Level Systems Engineer Level 3 (#00000295843) at The Boeing Company

North Carolina Land and Water Fund Field Representative at Department of Natural and Cultural Resource

Special Assistant, Research, to the President and CEO at Atlantic Council

Starlink Analyst at SpaceX

Entry Level Healthcare Recruiter – Oxnard, CA at Maxim Healthcare Services

Cool Internships

NASA SCaN Telerobotics Activity Design with ARISS (SIP) at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Undergraduate (Year-Round) Intern – Catalytic Upgrading of Biomass to Sustainable Aviation Fuel at National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Recruiting Intern, Sourcing Team (Summer 2022) at Okta

Summer Internship – ACLU of GA at the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia

Machine Learning Engineer Intern, Summer 2022 at Research Square Company

Corporate Human Resources Internship Summer 2022 at Marriott Vacations Worldwide – Resort Operations

Co-op Engineer at TMEIC

Cool Local Jobs

Executive Assistant  and Recruiting Coordinator at Biltmore Farms

Equestrian Staff at Camp Illahee

Seasonal Green Roof Technician at Living Roofs, Inc.

Benefits and support services manager, and Agency relations coordinator at Manna Food Bank

Living wage program coordinator at Just Economics

Business Manager at Bounty & Soul

Business Development Representative at EcoBot

Digital Marketing Specialist at ENO

Community Investments Manager at Mountain Bizworks

Brokerage Operations Coordinator – Asheville, NC at Southland Transportation Company

Cool Local Internship

Sustainable Agriculture Summer Intern at Sustaining Way

Cool Post Grad experience:

Netflix Animation Early Creatives Program – Story Trainee 2022 at Netflix

My thoughts for the week

In honor of Valentines Day, Shake Shack and DoorDash created a limited-time dating app for people to meet over their shared love of a chicken sandwich.  Will wonders ever cease?   

I was also exposed to a new term this week “bleisure”, a combination of business and leisure where folks are taking the work from home option on the road and working from vacation spots worldwide.  Love the concept, not sure how I feel about the term though…

Lastly, I read that this year’s Super Bowl advertising rate topped out at $7 million for a 30 second spot.  Doritos and Google placed some pretty big bets that our eyes were on the screen and not on our Doritos or phones during the game.  One that seemed to work though was Coinbase’s roaming QR code ad, it got so much traffic that the app crashed, temporarily.  

On this post-SuperBowl/potentially working from home/Valentines Day/Monday, I hope you have a great week.


Cool Jobs and Internships 1/31

Good morning!
Some fun ones this week include an internship creating videos for the Amish, an internship using lasers, a lab tech with the CDC, and an internship with a local yoga studio.  

Can’t get enough cool jobs content?  Check out The Cool Jobs Podcast, an interview series I produce every other week with guests from all over the globe who do cool stuff!  The last episode was with a WordPress Agency Owner, and this Thursday is a Water Park Designer!  Check it out here, or on Apple/Google/Spotify by searching for “The Cool Jobs Podcast”.
Cool Jobs

WCCB Charlotte Producer Full Time at WCCB TV
Management Trainee ( 037 Fridley) at Copart
Assistant National Bank Examiner (Western District) at Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Urban Teacher Resident (for Aspiring Teachers!) at Urban Teachers
Gender Adviser for Tolerance and Non-Discrimination (PRO000019) at Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE)
Regular Fellow (Laboratory Technician) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Cool Internships

Front End Engineer, Intern/Co-Op at Meta
Intern, Purchasing (2022) at Washington Nationals

Video Production Spring/Summer Internship (Virtual) at The Amish Heritage Foundation
Intern, Consumer Audio Software Team (San Jose, CA) at Analog Devices Inc.
Electrical Engineering Intern at Wyatt Technology

Cool Local Jobs

ABE Foundations Instructor at McDowell Technical Community College

 Personal Banker 1 at First Bank

A couple of cool opportunities with Bounty and Soul

 Community Development Program Manager with Buncombe County
Development and Communications position at Asheville City Schools Foundation
Girls on the Run Western North Carolina Council Director
Mentor at Monarch
Canopy Tour Guide at Sky Valley Zip Tours
Summer Naturalist, Highlands Nature Center at Highlands Biological Station

Cool Local Internships

Entrepreneurship Internship at Mtn. Bizworks

Analytics Intern at Tombras
Marketing Intern at Burning Sage Yoga

Cool On Campus Job

Moog Studio Manager at UNC Asheville – Music Department

My thoughts for the week:
Future forecast of the week: Adaptation

I’ve been reading recently about how developers are building smart cities in desert areas like Nevada and Dubai to run on blockchain technology and use solar domes to convert saltwater into potable water.  Then there’s NOEM in Saudi Arabia that is rethinking what a city should even be.  These projects would mean future cities that are less dependent on natural resources for infrastructure; and as sea levels rise and migration away from the coasts begin, there would be new areas, previously considered uninhabitable, available for civilizations to move toward.

There is also a lot of research being conducted as it relates to our DNA, and how there could be personalized healthcare outcomes available.  This could mean better drug interactions with fewer side effects, gene editing to address chronic illnesses, and even organ regrowth from our own tissues rather than from compatible donors.  

And finally, flying cars.  Yes, flying cars are coming.  Wisk, a company backed by Boeing just announced a fleet of 30 electric vertical takeoff and landing taxis that can take 2 people, 25 miles on a full charge, completely autonomously.  Several airports in the US are also making plans to open-air taxi lanes, but the FAA will need to hop on board first. These current ventures don’t take people very far, and without a lot of cargo, and it’s probably really expensive….BUT so too were the first fixed-wing aircraft in the early 1900s, and now there are people who fly every day to go to work.

I even met with a woman named Judi Jeston last week… we’re getting closer to that future every day!

Hope you have a great week,


Cool Jobs and Internships 1/24

Good morning everyone,

Some fun ones this week including a job monitoring desert tortoises, some local jobs in the great outdoors, and an internship with Ernst and Young.

Also, some exciting news, ServiceTrade will be on campus conducting interviews with seniors and recent alumni for their full time sales position located in the Triangle area. They’ll be on campus all day on February 24th and are excited to talk with UNCA folks!  Check out this description for more information, and please share with those who might be interested.


Cool Jobs

Wildlife Monitoring – Desert Tortoise Field Crew Supervisor at Great Basin Institute
Manufacturing Engineer (HCP) Intern at Haworth
Sr Research Associate I – $8,000* Sign On at Gilead Sciences
Several neat positions with The Conservation Fund in Arlington VA

Supply Chain Associate Solution Consultant (1419744) at Oracle

Cool Local Jobs

Community Development Division Manager with the City of Asheville

Visitor’s Center Manager in the Pisgah National Forest

Interpretive Park Guide at Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation
Associate Project Manager, Development and Office Manager at Pine Gate Renewables

Teller – Asheville West at First Bank

Cool Internships
EY – Launch Intern – Summer 2022 at EY LLP
3D Modeler Game Asset (Remote Intern) at TwinRayj Studios

Cool Local Internships

Business Development and Social Media / Marketing Summer Internships at Hickory Brands, Inc.

Media Communications Design Intern at 3 Mountains

Cool Years of service

Engagement and Partnership Coordinator Americorps with the US Forest Service

Job Coach/Regional Canine Crew Leader at Rocky Mountain Youth Corps – New Mexico

My thoughts for the week
Future forecast of the week: Energy

I was in a meeting last week where Indeed quoted internal statistics that job postings allowing for, or were completely remote, went from 1 in 67 prior to the pandemic to 1 in 7 new postings now.  We’re in a new era! 

I also found this article that I thought was fascinating about how we might get the electricity to power our work-from-home lives in the future. While solar and wind are positive steps in the right direction toward a carbon neutral power system, nuclear fusion could be a real boon for widely distributed, centralized, and consistent power generation we’ve come to rely upon.  Without the radiation, meltdown, or waste concerns of fission reactions, fusion sounds really promising, and for the first time, really possible.

2021 also saw the fewest oil discoveries in 75 years due to a lack of exploration and long term predictions about consumer demand. As our vehicle fleet continues to electrify, we may see a small spike in the short term of new oil exploration, but the overall trend is coming down.  This is likely to mean similar gas prices as we’re seeing now for the foreseeable future. Drilling investments take years to pay off, and with declining future demand likely, the chances of oversupply driving the price down is low.

Most countries in the world have also committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 with many having set 2030 reduction goals as well.  Over the next 24 years, forecasters are predicting the fastest growth in alternative energy development, and those investments will make clean energy not only cost competitive across all sectors, but cheaper than traditional methods.  Look no further than the delayed (and potentially eliminated) peaker plant at Lake Julian; Duke Energy has already seen the economics of clean energy production.  There’s a long way to go, but we’re on the right path!

Hope you have a great week,


Spring ’22 Career Center Events

The UNC Asheville Career Center welcomes you back for another wonderful semester! We are so excited to see all the wonderful things our students and staff accomplish. Below you will find a list of upcoming Career Center events that we hope you will attend. Email at any time to make an appointment or to get any of your questions answered.

1/14: You are invited to join the Career Center for their virtual “Wellness in the Workplace” panel on Friday, January 14 from 12-1PM. During the session, attendees will hear from leading experts at the Lenoir Rhyne Equity + Diversity Institute, The Rising Workplace, and Aeroflow Healthcare on the many facets of wellness at work. To RSVP for the panel, please email to receive the Zoom information. 

1/19: Wellness for the Semester is Wednesday, January 19th from 12pm to 3pm in the Career Center. This drop-in event will focus on helping students prepare for the semester through planning and self-care.

2/25: Prison Re-Entry In The Workplace from 12-1 pm. This panel session will give insight on what the transition is like post-prison into the workplace. Email to receive the Zoom information

3/1: The Internship Event from 12-1pm. This exciting event brings connections and opportunities directly to students. Businesses from around WNC will pitch their available internships and opportunities and students will have the chance to network and ask questions after pitches.

3/3: NextFest – Career Fair from 12-2pm. Find your next! This is a traditional Career Fair with over 60 organizations joining us to network with students and advertise their available openings and opportunities.

4/8: Climate & Weather In The Work Place from 12-1 pm. This panel session will discuss climate change and its’ effects. Email to receive the Zoom information.

Make an appointment with any of our staff members through Handshake for career exploration, job search assistance, internship help, document review, and graduate school guidance.

Drop-in to the Career Center any weekday from 12 – 3 pm for resume and cover letter review.

Keep up with us on Instagram and Twitter @uncacareer

*The dates above are subject to change, please visit Handshake for up to date information, email with questions*