Jesse Davis graduated in 1996 from Ship’s geoenvironmental studies program. He answered a few questions about his Ship experience and a career path that led to work he enjoys so much, “I don’t even think of it as a job.”
Where do you work?
I run a small business called Your Conservation Connection. It is an agricultural and urban consulting, engineering, planning and construction company for stormwater, wastewater and environmental services. I specialize in mushroom farms. I work with clients from the conceptual phase all the way through designs, permitting through each layer of the government (federal, state, county and down to the local townships) then I’m the project manager, foreman and or erosion and sedimentation specialist on site to ensure the implementation of a job is completed along with the finalization of paperwork for constructed “as-builts” and verification to ensure we re-capture the escrow that is usually required on most of these types of jobs in accordance with today’s standards and regulations.
I also work at Kaolin Mushroom Farms Inc. in the Select Soils Department. I’m a contracted employee and on call 24/7, 365 days a year. I work as the manager of Select Soils from my home office and work on one of our farms, two to three days per week or as needed. I manage the logistics for the clean out of all waste/residual mushroom compost from the growing operations. I complete the sales and consultation and safe legal depositions for these materials. I also provide consulting to landscapers, homeowners and farmers on legal ways to store and apply this material for various uses that we distribute to them.
How did you experience at Ship prepare you for your career?
Shippensburg provided me the knowledge and confidence to try out a career in a niche in the mushroom capital of the world, along with teaching me how to be well rounded enough to learn how to complete and manage multiple aspects of various environmental jobs that I may encounter. My internship at Sparten Plumbing and Heating in the Baltimore/Washington DC metropolitan area was important as well. This was real life work in a pretty tough environment. It was like going 0-60 everyday and was truly challenging and gave me confidence to learn even more and try harder. I learned first hand about water systems and sewer systems and how to manage and treat water in urban and residential environments.
What advice would you give for a student looking to enter your field?
I did not enter my exact line of work directly after graduation. Be open-minded to accept jobs that may not be 100 percent in your field, but will help you gain more experience for it in the future. Be well rounded, versatile and above all be confident and maintain your integrity with all the work you do in your chosen career. Also remember with being well rounded, means you can always find work as a valuable employee and or an entrepreneurial leader just ready to succeed in your chosen field.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the people I work with and I get to be with different people all the time. I like that every day is different. Fifty percent of my time is spent inside working on permits, engineering and land planning. The other 50 percent of my time is spent working outside in the field. I love working for my business and also at my job so much I don’t even think of it as a job – I feel fulfilled helping like-minded people. I truly enjoy the work and the amazing part is I get paid to do it.