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Young Alum of the Month: Chase Olsen

Name: Chase Olsen

Hometown: North Sioux City, SD

Major and Graduation Date: Animal Ecology, May 2022

Favorite ISU Class: Either HON 324A: Romance Novels as Tools for Justice or BIOL 456: Principles of Mycology, but honestly I enjoyed almost every course I took at ISU!

Job Title & Company: Student Services Specialist, NREM Department, Iowa State University

Major Job/Position Responsibilities: My primary role is to advise students, particularly incoming first-year and transfer students, majoring in Animal Ecology and Forestry.  In addition to advising, I also teach the courses NREM 110 and NREM 211.  Outside of class I also meet with prospective students who are interested in coming to Iowa State and being part of the NREM department.

What do you like most about your job/position?  The students!  I learn so much from them and I hope that they learn even just a fraction as much from me. They are an incredible group of individuals.  I consider it to be an immense privilege to be part of their academic journeys and to watch them learn and grow into natural resource professionals.

What advice would you give to current students pursuing a career in Agriculture and Life Sciences?  Don’t shy away from a challenge!  Whether it’s a difficult course, trying a new activity, or a job that’s out of your comfort zone.  I received one of the lowest grades of my academic career as a sophomore in Vertebrate Biology (A ECL/BIOL 365).  It was a difficult course.  It made me reconsider what I was studying, until a friend of mine told me that feeling challenged and wanting to do better was a sign that I was in the right program for me.  That conversation completely changed how I felt about my classes, and my professional journey as a whole.  Find those challenges and face them head on!