After college, Audra (Jung) Willing ‘ 05 moved to Seattle to work for the National Outdoor Leadership School as a wilderness field instructor and later as a program supervisor for the mountaineering program.
Without Northland, she says she would have likely lived a different life. “I didn’t even know what outdoor education was before Northland, she said.
She traveled around the world for twelve years but kept returning to the Pacific Northwest. And in 2014, she decided to settle down and pursue an MBA in sustainable business at Presidio Graduate School in Seattle.
“When I graduated, getting into solar energy was the perfect way to use my skills in leadership, communication, and no fear of heights—I get on roofs almost every day—to help people reach ambitious goals in a new way, by making the choice to go solar,” she said.
Willing works as a solar design consultant—taking customers from concept to installation to inspection to turning on their sun-powered lights.
“At Northland, I gained the confidence to take on mastering new ambitious topics from scratch, and this is exactly what I have done within the solar industry,” she said. “ I absolutely love working in solar for its direct contribution to mitigating climate change and the cool innovative people I work with every day.”
As a “side hustle,” supported by her employer, A&R Solar, she teaches organizational leadership at Presidio Graduate School.
“In many ways, the culture at Presidio is similar to Northland, full of fun folks who are committed to creating a more just and healthy world,” she said.
Willing helps students develop their leadership and communication skills as well as navigate organizational change effectively through their capstone projects.
“Northland was the first place I experienced how important it is to cultivate community and act as a global citizen,” she said. “The way I learned to think at Northland, taught me to look for win/win solutions to make the world a better place and to avoid us versus them thinking and this is what has allowed me to find creative solutions and job opportunities anywhere I can dream up.”