I am writing this post sitting in the lobby of the Omni William Penn hotel in Pittsburg after attending a Student and Professionals mixer as part of The Wildlife Society’s annual national conference. It may seem a bit out of place that I am sitting here typing away while it appears I should be schmoozing, but I’ve done my fair share for the night and I was struck by the wild hair to convey this information to you.
During your time at Warnell you will be afforded with some incredible opportunities. With the rich history and heritage referenced in previous posts, you would be hard pressed to complete your time in Warnell without making at least a few connections. With the prestige associated with our program, the caliber and experience of our professors, an extensive alumni network, internship opportunities, and the tight-knit nature of our choice of profession, chances are you will meet your future employer or someone who knows them in the time that it takes you to finish your degree.
Because of these facts, it is important to be professional in both appearance and manner whenever representing the school or yourself. Between the nearly weekly interviews held in Warnell, visiting alumni, and the weekly seminars, you never know whom you are going to run into in the hall.
Now on to those opportunities I mentioned earlier. If you spend your time wisely, I would be surprised to discover that you finished your degree without at least a few prospects for employment after graduation. Get involved. Join student clubs, go to conferences, talk to guest speakers and your professors, talk to the professionals that you are introduced to on your labs and fieldtrips. I have been told multiple times that the three keys to success are “connections, connections, connections.” The best way to make those connections? –Get involved.
These are people just like you. They have similar interests. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to introduce yourself. The people you will be exposed to are excited to see new professionals who are passionate in the same field that they themselves are passionate. These people will one day be your employers and colleagues.