It’s time for another Environmental Economics & Management (EEM) alumni spotlight. Today’s featured alumna is Chloe Cantor! We recently exchanged a few emails and here’s what she’s up to these days…
What’s your name, and what year did you graduate?
My name is Chloe Cantor, and I graduated in 2015.
Where do you currently work, what is your current job title, and what are your overall responsibilities?
I currently work as a Legislative Correspondent for Senator Roger Wicker. I respond to constituent mail that relates to budget, environment, healthcare, and tax policy. I also prepare memos for the Senator, meet with constituents, and research policy.
What is a typical day like for you in your job?
Every day is a little different because there is always a new policy issue at the forefront. When the Senate is in session, my day starts off with preparing meeting memos for the Senator that relate to my policy portfolio. Throughout the day, I may have meetings with advocacy groups, attend a briefing, or respond to constituent mail. When the Senate is in recess, I usually have time to catch up on other tasks because things are not quite as hectic.
How has your background – in particular majoring in EEM – helped prepare you for life after graduation?
Lately, I have had the opportunity to work on aquaculture policy. So, things that I learned in Natural Resource Economics have been very valuable. Last fall, I worked on the tax bill that was ultimately signed into law by the President. Even though I was not particularly knowledgeable about this issue, my background in economics helped me work through more complex tax issues. Interning in DC also really prepared me. My senior year, I interned in Senator Cochran’s office through the CALS internship program. Prior to that, I interned at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was a Demmer Scholar, which is a joint internship program with Michigan State University that focuses on natural resource policy. These internships provided me with valuable work experience when I was job hunting.
What did you most enjoy about the EEM program?
I really enjoyed the coursework and how relatable it was to real-world issues. Especially after interning in DC, I found that the coursework was very applicable to what I wanted to do with my career. In fact, the semester after I interned with Senator Cochran, I took Public Problems of Agriculture*. Several of the topics that we covered in the course related to policy areas that I was exposed to during my internship. This course, and others, have continued to help me in my career.
What advice would you give to students trying to pick a major or who are thinking about the EEM major?
Although EEM may be a relatively new major, it is very relevant to current global issues. I work with policy, but there are many different career paths that you can choose with this degree. That is something that very much appealed to me. There is not one set career path that you have to go down with this degree. You can pick your own path – and your professors will guide you.
Any other thoughts about the EEM major, your experiences in the program, etc, and how they’ve shaped your life or helped you?
I changed my major to EEM my junior year of college, which was one of the best decisions I made. Prior to starting college, I had general ideas of what I wanted to do. In high school, I really enjoyed AP Environmental Science and knew that I wanted to do something that would help preserve our natural resources. When I decided to change my major, professors in the Agriculture Economics department welcomed me and invested in my success. They helped me fit internships into my coursework and flexibility was provided so that I could take courses that were of interest to me. Without that, I don’t think I would be on the career path I am on now.
Make the most of college. Get involved, get to know your professors, and get to know your classmates. Those four years will be over before you know it!
* Taught by department head Dr. Keith Coble each spring semester.