Maitland Gurney is a freshman in the Exploratory Studies program with intent to CODA into Accounting. In the SOUL Garden, however, she is a leader with the infrastructure team. Maitland joined the SOUL Garden team in order to gain leadership and communication skills along with getting herself out of her “comfort zone” through experiences and learning new things while also engaging in community service to give back to the community around NC State.
In joining the SOUL team, Maitland also hoped to develop several key skills in order to make herself more marketable to future employers. Specifically, she hoped to develop her communication, cooperation and leadership skills. When asked about this, Maitland said “I hope to be able to communicate with a wide variety of people from different backgrounds in a friendly and professional manner. I also hope to be able to gain leadership skills while taking control of two projects and cooperating with many people at the same time.”
SOUL Leaders are expected to have several concrete goals during their time in the program, these goals vary across committees and positions. Maitland has two main goals she hopes to accomplish within the next few months- completing the irrigation system and the fencing around Bed C. In order to accomplish these goals, she has been working tirelessly for over a month in order to set up a workday with the groundskeepers so that they can use a gas powered auger to dig the holes for fencing. She has met several complications, such as the auger having a leaking gas tank on the day scheduled for her workday. She did not let this discourage her, and was still able to use this workday to take down the old fencing and posts. She is currently planning another workday for October 21st.
No project can be completed alone so Maitland is working with several sources in order to accomplish the goals she has set. Andy from groundskeeping is working with her to use a gas powered auger to dig the holes for fencing. Shamsa Visone, the SOUL garden’s project manager, has helped her to promote her project and keep everything on track. Katie Knapp, a member of Engineers Without Borders, is also working with her to make sure that the bike pump drip irrigation system will run smoothly. Hayes Boone, a forest management student, is another contributor to the project as he is a source of knowledge on irrigation systems.
Through all of the planning and work she has done so far, Maitland has gained communication skills as well as organization skills. Both of these have worked favorably for her in contacting people to set up workdays and managing her time in regards to project completion. When asked what she has learned so far, Maitland said “I think one major thing I have learned working as a SOUL Garden Leader, is that you have to be highly motivated and willing to work. The process of trying to recruit help and making sure everyone can meet on a certain day is trying. Then when things go wrong like the auger not working, I had to be willing to dedicate more of my time to try the project again.”
“I am excited to learn more about
the process for an irrigation system,
as well as maybe how to work an auger.
It should be a fun and new experience!”