There are many reasons why it is important to be a Warnell Dawg, but I would like to focus on one that I have benefited from the most. I am referring to the imparted and expected ambiance of professionalism. I have never been apart of a program that puts so much emphasis on operating professionally in everything you do. This standard is made known from day one when you meet Dean Greene and other faculty at your professional program orientation. Like many colleges here on the University Campus, Warnell offers professional development classes to improve your resume, interviewing, and networking skills, but they take it much further than that. While at Warnell you will be given countless opportunities to play an active role as a student representative on committees such as: club officers, school ambassadors, scholarship panels, alumni councils, and much more. Often times these positions involve actively providing input or voting on decisions made at the school. Furthermore, Warnell provides the opportunity to learn from and network with world-renowned professors from all aspects of the natural resources community. The relationship that one is able to create with these professionals is invaluable. Professors and staff genuinely care about student concerns and questions. They take the time to invest in the students’ futures. By doing this, the school creates an interface with real-world expectations and analytically driven studies. As I alluded to previously, Warnell also puts stock into professional networking. Every semester there are numerous social events, seminars, and meetings that allow the students to create exchanges with natural resource companies, visiting professors, alumni, and more. Specifically, students are given the opportunity to interview, and often times get hired, with industry leading businesses and research organizations. The list of opportunities for professional development goes much further than this. While Warnell does provide a tier one list of opportunities for students, they stress the importance of student initiative to seize these opportunities. Students are encouraged and given the skills to work hard for their goals, but they are also allowed to be as active or passive as they desire in developing themselves professionally. Whatever approach one chooses, they will continue to receive persistent encouragement from their peers and professors. This expectation drives students to push themselves both in their academic and professional lives.
In closing, I would like to show my gratitude to all that Warnell has and continues to offer me. It is important to be a Warnell Dawg for many reasons, but the biggest, even bigger than professional development, is the ability to join a legacy of faculty, staff, and alumni who set the stand rather that meet the standard. Ones’ time on campus is a small chapter in their life as a Warnell Dawg, and the story only gets better as it goes.