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I use the skills that I developed in my ACE classes—Excel, economic concepts, finance, and general decision making—every day.

Profile: Nick White

Project Ecologist, DJM Ecological
Nick White, agriculture and consumer economics alumnus, is passionate about waterfowl hunting and fishing, and he understands the importance of native plant communities and the ecosystems they impact.  At Illinois, classes he took in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) sparked his passion for ecology. He combines that passion with skills from his agricultural and consumer economics major as a project ecologist for DJM Ecological. 
“I use the skills that I developed in my ACE classes—Excel, economic concepts, finance, and general decision making—every day,” Nick says. “These skills allow me to lead a team and to contribute to the direction of the company.”
Installing native prairies and timber stand improvement projects and providing comprehensive ecological stewardship for native landscapes are a big part of Nick’s job. He also meets with representatives from Fortune 500 companies  to discuss their needs. His position has allowed Nick to diversify his skill set and knowledge in the ecological service industry. Becoming informed and knowledgeable in its different practices interests him and allows him to expand  into personal property management. 
“A willingness to continue learning has allowed me to excel in my profession, as this position requires adaptability from project to project,” Nick says. “Verbal and written communication, for both internal and external presentations, is vital to success in my profession. A final characteristic that has allowed me to excel is my decision-making skills.”
U of I prepared Nick for his current job by exposing him to a variety of opportunities both within and outside of the classroom. Nick was president of the student chapter of the National Agricultural Marketing Association (NAMA), competing in multiple marketing competitions. Nick also enjoyed the International Business Immersion Program (IBIP), where he performed an in-depth case study on various topics in Western Europe , while abroad. During the summer months, he held internships with Dot Foods, Golf Resources, and CNH Capital.
“U of I prepares their students with the necessary tools to enter a variety of careers and excel in various positions,” Nick says. “The faculty take pride in ensuring each student is prepared to enter the professional world and provide students with all needed resources to start their first careers.”