NRES Student Ambassador Amy Byrne
Hometown: Palatine, Illinois
Year/Graduation: Senior, May 2018
Concentration: Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Why Illinois? – What factors helped contribute to your decision to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
I chose to attend University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign because there were a broad range of majors to choose from, and no matter what I decided to study, it was going to be a good program. Also, the campus and campus town made the large school feel so much smaller. I felt right at home witnessing people sitting on the quad, throwing a frisbee around, and people studying on the patio at the lllini Union. The campus seemed like a good mix of people, that I was not worried about not making friends.
Why NRES? – Specifically, why did you choose to study Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences?
I chose to study Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences because my passion for wildlife and the environment was not being fulfilled with the classes I was attending. These classes were very medical based and not focused on the bigger picture, our ecosystems, and the environment. So, after some research, I learned more about the NRES program. From my very first meeting with an NRES advisor, I instantly fell in love. The NRES major has so many concentrations that are very hands-on. It was honestly very hard for me to choose a concentration because I loved all of them. The NRES classes are not that large, so the professors are available to speak with you one-on-one. They are always engaged, and making activities for us to learn the material better. Also, the professors are teaching the course material, while relating it to current issues going on in the world today. It makes learning much easier, as well as, teaching us information that we will use for our future careers. I had transferred into this major going into my junior year. My first semester of being in NRES, I felt like I learned so much more valuable information that I will carry with me for my future career, than I did in my other two years of classes at the University. In this major, I have had several professors who were willing to assist the class in gaining research experience, getting internships, and writing us letters of reference. I feel very lucky that I found the NRES program because for the first time at the University, I felt like these professors wanted me and my peers to succeed. They are just as passionate as we are, so this has helped me to move forward with my future career goals, and I feel confident with what I want to do with my life.