In fall 2018, Loyola Marymount University alumna Nicole Enciso achieved her goal of landing a job as an Environmental Specialist with the Port of Los Angeles.
The San Pedro native has deep roots in the port. Her great-grandmother worked in the canneries. Her great-grandfather and grandfather worked as fishermen out of the historic Municipal Fish Market. Her father is a marine clerk.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science in 2016, Enciso worked part-time for a private company while she earned a Master’s in Public Policy with an environmental emphasis and a Certificate in Sustainable Policy and Planning at the University of Southern California. When an opportunity arose to work in the Environmental Management Division evaluating projects for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, she jumped at it.
On any given day, she might be working on assessing the environmental impact of a single-day event or a major development at the Port.
“I really enjoy my work,” Enciso says. “I get to assess about 20 different impact areas from biological resources to water quality. You never know what’s going to be put on your desk, but that’s half the fun of it.”
Although San Pedro is her home, Enciso says the small-size campus and down-to-earth professors made LMU feel “just like home—it had a family feeling.” While wandering the Seaver College of Science and Engineering during a solo visit to campus, a professor peeked out of his office and offered the prospective student a tour of the building and the work professors were doing.
“The fact that he went out of his way to show me what LMU offered, showed me that I would be blessed and lucky to study environmental science at LMU,” Enciso says. “I cannot speak more highly about the experience there—every professor genuinely wanted you to succeed.”
Specifically, Enciso values their encouragement to be inquisitive and the courage it gave her to ask questions and know that her voice is valid.
“I’m thankful for my professors,” she says. “Without them, I think I’d be less willing to ask the questions necessary to make a difference.”
Having reached her goal of working in CEQA for the Port of Los Angeles, Enciso is just beginning the process of formulating her next career goals.
In the meantime, the former softball player is working on another personal goal: to hit all the baseball stadiums in America. She wants to visit all 30 stadiums by age 30. In mid-summer, she was heading to Texas—her sixth and seventh stadiums.