UNM Rainforest Innovations

One of the newest members of the student internship program at UNM Rainforest Innovations (UNMRI) is Anna Borders, a senior undergraduate student at the University of New Mexico. She joined UNMRI at the end of August and currently serves as the Student Office Assistant.

Anna is a Regents’ Scholar, Amigo Scholar, and is working on a double major in International Studies and Languages with minors in Political Science and Honors Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts. “Throughout my time at UNM, I have studied abroad three times and had one research paper published. I have a variety of interests and am so grateful that UNM has encouraged me to dive into all of them. My published research is an interdisciplinary work focused on Italian gastronomy. Additionally, I have experience researching topics regarding Women and Gender Studies, European Politics, and various European cultures.”

“I have had various jobs in the public sector, but I’ve never worked for a nonprofit. I value being able to compare the sectors before I start looking for jobs. One of my favorite things about UNMRI is the work-life balance. When I worked in the public sector, my hours were any hours. In contrast, UNMRI does a great job of keeping the work within a designated time frame. If something were to expand outside of work hours, the (staff) are able to flex that time later.”

As the Student Office Assistant, Anna has a variety of duties including general administrative support and welcoming visitors: “I enjoy being the first smiling face that people see when they walk in the door. Although I have a variety of tasks, I believe the core of my job is to boost office morale. This can be in the form of getting snacks people enjoy, refilling coffee and waters, organizing and restocking the office, or just being an approachable, friendly face for conversation.”

“On a lighter note, this job has taught me how to use a landline phone. Despite working in other office environments, I have never needed to use one. My other jobs either had a designated phone person or used company cell phones. My first few days at UNMRI were spent with my manual open, going step-by-step on how to use the phone.”

When Anna isn’t busy with school or work, she has many other interests: “Food and exploration are two of my biggest passions. My free time consists of cooking, baking, exploring, and hiking. I, also, enjoy playing games with my friends. We call it ‘Board Game Night,’ but we play board games, card games, and Mario Kart.”

As for Anna’s future plans, she plans to graduate in May 2024 and continue her studies: “Currently, I am applying to graduate programs across the country to continue my education in International Studies and food. If money didn’t matter, my dream job would involve traveling the world, eating delicious food, and talking about it.”

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