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Sunday, February 5 • 8:00am - 5:00pm
Workshop: Beginning Your Professional Journey (For Students!) - Sponsored by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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ORGANIZER: Drew Tyre, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincol, atyre2@unl.edu

  • 8:00A – 8:30A  |  Registration/Continental Breakfast

  • 8:30A – 8:45A  |  Welcome and introductions

  • 8:45A – 9:15A  |  How to cut your Journey Short

  • 9:15A – 10:30A  |  Preparing your Resume and other Professional Correspondence

  • 10:30A – 10:45A  |  Break

  • 10:45A - 12:00P  |  Academic and Employer Panels

  • 12:00P – 1:15P  |  Lunch Break

  • 1:15P – 2:30P  |  Interviewing

  • 2:30P - 2:45P  |  Break

  • 2:45P – 3:45P  |  Networking

  • 3:45P – 4:15P  |  Professionalism

  • 4:15P – 4:30P  |  Workshop wrap-up. Final questions. 

  • 5:00P – 10:00P  |  Conference Welcome Reception (time to put your networking skills to work)

 Fisheries and Wildlife (FW) undergraduates take many academic classes to prepare them for their first position in the field. A sentiment often expressed by academics and employers is that students are ill-­‐informed regarding specific skills, prior experience, and personality traits deemed desirable in employees and graduate students. Seldom are undergraduates given opportunities to build networks with professionals and learn detailed information regarding their potential as a future employee or graduate student. Likewise, “unwritten” rules for interacting and corresponding with professionals are seldom discussed with students but are essential for their professional satisfaction and advancement.

This workshop’s purpose is to address the needs of undergraduate FW students to prepare for their first post-­‐baccalaureate position, whether as a graduate student or employee. We strive to demonstrate the workshop’s importance in the professional development of students to participating professionals at the workshop and conference attendees. We continue to hope this pre-­‐conference workshop will become a regular tradition at future conferences.

The workshop consists of four sections: Resumes and Professional Correspondence, Academic and Employer Panels, Networking, and Interviewing. Students and professionals sit and eat together during the workshop. Professional leaders facilitate small group exercises and provide individual input to students. The workshop includes some lecture, interactive discussion, small group exercises and individual work. We work to provide equal gender representation among workshop leaders and speakers, and equal representation from Fisheries and Wildlife professionals. Each participant receives a binder of resource materials for future use and business cards to distribute while networking at the conference.


The Resumes and Professional Correspondence session will consist of a formal presentation about the preparation of resumes and other professional correspondence. A brief question and answer period will follow. In addition, participants will be asked to bring samples of their resumes to the workshop so that they can receive constructive feedback on them as they stand, revise them, and receive additional input. Finalized resumes can be printed off and used while networking at the conference. Speaker: Jim Schneider of Michigan State University*

The Academic and Employer Panels session will consist of two 45-­‐minute blocks. During the first half of the session, members (4) of the employer panel will each give a short talk about what they look for in future employees and what the philosophy of their organization is and the sorts of positions that are available at any given time. Following the short presentations, audience members will be given the opportunity to ask questions of the various panel members. During the second half of the session, members (4) of the academic panel will each give a short talk regarding their personal requirements for graduate students as well as their institutional requirements and current opportunities available at their institution. At the close of those short presentations, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of panel members.
  • Employers: Federal Agency representative; Non-­‐governmental Organization representative; State Agency representative; Private Sector representative

  • Academics: Professor from a Research I type institution; Professor from a USGS Cooperative Unit; Professor from a mid-­‐size institution; Professor from a smaller institution but that has a graduate program

The Interviewing for graduate positions and professional positions. This will include discussion of appropriate behavior, attire, speech and related issues of professionalism in the process. It will also include information on those questions that are unethical or illegal for a faculty member or potential employer to ask of an interviewee and the appropriate response in such situations. This will be followed by activities designed to develop and enhance interviewing skills in participants, and will include “mock” interviews. Speaker: Mike Pagel of University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point*

The Networking session will consist of a presentation of the art of networking, and its essential role in the success of fisheries and wildlife professionals. This will be followed by group and individual activities aimed at developing and enhancing such skills in participants. Professionals at each table will facilitate these activities. Participants will then be given the opportunity to test what they’ve learned at the Sunday evening reception, as well as distributing their business cards and/or resumes to interested professionals.


FEES: $25. Sign-up on registration form; lunch is included. 

Sunday February 5, 2017 8:00am - 5:00pm CST

Attendees (5)