Just days before starting her final semester as an environmental science major with a geoscience option, Erin McGuire got great news: She’d been hired as a staff geologist at Nobis Group, an engineering consulting firm in Concord, New Hampshire.
“Going through all this with the pandemic for the last year, I feel really fortunate that I’ve been able to get a job. It takes a lot of pressure off,” the Mason, New Hampshire, native says.
McGuire was able to ease into her new job by working remotely part-time this spring while finishing her degree. But she can’t wait to dig into the field work, once she starts full time in June.
“I’m excited to have the outdoors as my office. I really love being outside,” says McGuire, whose work will involve a lot of soil and groundwater sampling and drilling oversight, while “about 30 percent of my time will be report-writing from the office or home office, which is going to be great.”
McGuire says she felt confident during the interview process for one reason in particular.
“I’ve had an internship every summer since high school, which was a strong selling point,” she says. Those internships include positions with the Milford (New Hampshire) Conservation Commission, Geosyntec Consultants, the Haverhill (Massachusetts) wastewater treatment plant and, most recently, as agriculture manager at Hurricane Hill Development in her hometown of Mason.
Internships aren’t the only things that stand out on McGuire’s résumé. She is president of the UML chapter of Sigma Gamma Epsilon, the national honor society for earth sciences, and is secretary of the Society of Environmental Scientists, a student group. She also worked as a student coordinator for the Office of Sustainability, receiving a $1,000 S.E.E.D. Fund grant for campaigns to reduce single-use plastic straws and bags on campus.
“I’ve tried to be active in different ways and get a lot of real-world experience,” says McGuire, who comes from a family of River Hawks: Her dad, Michael ’89, is an electrical engineering alum and her sister, Molly ’17, earned bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science.
“I wanted to be close enough to home but far enough away,” she says of her college choice. “And the environmental science department was a big deciding factor. It’s science- and math-based, which gives me a strong background.”