Career profile: Missy Setz ('12), Geosyntec Consultants

May 15, 2015

In an effort to give our current students a look at the opportunities that await them after graduation, we reached out to a few graduates to check in on the many ways the Nelson Institute helped shape them into the employees, alumni and leaders they are today. View the full series of career profiles here

Missy Setz graduated in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in environmental studies, geology and geophysics, and geological engineering.

Nelson Institute: Please provide an overview of your current position.

Missy Setz
Missy Setz

Setz: I am a senior staff engineer at a geoenvironmental/geotechnical engineering consulting firm. I work on site remediation projects for various Air Force bases and am currently completing a geotechnical investigation on a dam as a response to the Fukushima disaster.

How do you feel attending UW as a student in the Nelson Institute prepared you for this work?

I feel that the Nelson Institute has made me a more informed and aware member of our society. I feel that it has helped me to approach my current position from perspectives that my co-workers do not. Also, as I work in the environmental field, I use a lot of the information/issues I learned in class, specifically about environmental legislation, on a daily basis. 

How do you apply this knowledge to growing as an employee and as a leader in the workplace?

Being an engineer, one has to focus on the technical aspect of problems, but I feel that by obtaining a degree in environmental studies from the Nelson Institute I can also approach challenges with an environmental and humanistic perspective. I always try to incorporate this thinking into my projects and I feel that this is the future of engineering. 

"Being an engineer, one has
to focus on the technical aspect
of problems, but I feel that by
obtaining a degree in environmental
studies I can also approach challenges
with an environmental and humanistic
perspective. I always try to incorporate
this thinking into my projects."

What advice do you have for current Nelson students?

Don't be afraid to ask questions. I grew up in a very small town in Wisconsin and wasn't exposed to a lot of environmental issues before coming to UW-Madison and taking classes at the Nelson Institute. By asking questions I was able to learn so much more and really dive into discussing issues with my peers, teaching assistants, and professors. You learn the most when you are engaged.

This interview is part of a series conducted by Johanna Wirth, a life sciences communication and environmental studies double major graduating in May 2015.