Alumni Profile

Julie Nettleton, a York alumnus

Julie Nettleton

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Faculty: Multidisciplinary Studies (Environmental and Health Sciences), Glendon College
Graduated: 1993
Current Position: Environmental Health and Safety Representative

Current Career: Environmental Health and Safety Representative - I work as an Environmental Health and Safety representative with the City of Toronto. In my role I support operational staff with programs to ensure compliance with environmental legislation and industry best practices.

Why I think I'm living a great life: My career reflects my personal values, and is a key component in allowing me to express those values on a day-to-day basis.

How I got here: I spent 5 years doing contract work for a variety of Environmental non-profit organizations, and 9 years gaining practical experience in environmental compliance and due diligence in the private sector before moving to the public sector position that I am in now.

Thing that made the biggest difference: Ultimately a Multidisciplinary degree in Environmental and Health Sciences helped me realize that I COULD make a career out of something I felt passionately about - whether my parents thought I was a crackpot or not. Since then, I've never looked back. Although it was tough in the first few years after graduation, I stuck with the field and am now proud to say that I have a career that reflects my values and helps quench the desire to make a practical difference in improving the health of the planet.

How I'm using my degree in my career: When I began my university career I chose my major based on what I did well in at high-school. Ultimately it became clear that I didn't have the fire in my belly to become a French teacher. I had taken a Natural Sciences course in my first or second year - I think it was science and science-fiction - that really resonated with me and exposed me to some significant thinking on environmentalism and social responsibility. That course helped me find my way to Environmental and Health Sciences studies.

What I've learned: It took me a long time to learn that working hard and working smart are important, but that maintaining and relying on your relationships with friends and colleagues is equally important to identifying hidden or unexpected opportunities.