|Student Events & Information
|Student/Professional Networking Events
|The student/professional networking events are popular every year at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference. These are great opportunities for students to make connections with professionals, which can have a positive impact on your career.
Student & Professional Networking Luncheon (with a virtual option)
Monday, February 14th, 12:00-1:30 PM Central time
Workshop: The Importance of Student Chapters of The Wildlife Society and American Fisheries Society in the Professional Development of Students
- This unique networking event will feature speakers and opportunities to interact with professionals in your chosen area(s) of interest. This is a great opportunity for students and fish and wildlife professionals to interact in small groups and discuss professional/career development! We hope you make the most out of this experience. Students: we encourage you to come prepared to ask questions. Professionals: be ready to discuss a variety of topics, for example: career development, transitioning from school, qualifications needed for various professions, and the realities of working in the natural resources field. After the initial introductions, there will be virtual breakout rooms for those not attending in person, as well as in person groups identified by topics of interest, as indicated on your registration form (Fisheries or Wildlife), and will include State/Provincial Agency Employment, Federal Agency Employment, Academia & Research Institutions/Graduate School, and Non-Government Organizations & Private Sector (e.g. consulting, industry). Lunch will be served for the in-person participants. We encourage our virtual attendees to eat during the session as well!
Sunday February 13th 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Student & Professional Trivia Night (with a virtual option)
Monday, February 14th from 7:30 - 9:00 PM (Central time)
- Join us for a first-of-its kind trivia networking night! We’ll create teams with a mixture of professionals and students and test everyone’s knowledge on wildlife and fisheries conservation in a fun atmosphere! Prizes will be awarded to the winners and all participants will enjoy comradery and getting to test their knowledge on Midwestern fish and wildlife!
|Career Development & Student Resource Room
|The Career Development and Student Resources Room will be a space for students to learn and network throughout the conference. The Student Resource Room can be found in the Lobby Boardroom. The room will feature the following resources and activities.
- A job board is available for posting jobs, graduate school positions, internships, etc.
- Postings can also be found on the job board
- If anyone would like to post a position online, please scan the posting and send it to us at email@example.com. Note that the website, including the job board will be accessible to all after the conference.
- Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 AM-11:00 AM in the Student Resource Room in the Lobby Boardroom
- Professionals will be available to provide one-on-one edits and helpful tips related to your resume or CV in a drop-in fashion
- A virtual option for distance attendees is available. A link to join a zoom meeting will be provided.
- Students interested should bring 1-2 print out copies of your resume or CV
- Mock interview timeslots are available Monday and Tuesday from 2:00 PM -4:00 PM in the Student Resource Room in the Lobby Boardroom
- Time slots are 20 mins in length and can be scheduled online by clicking the following links:
- A virtual option for distance attendees is available. A link to join a zoom meeting will be provided.
- Interviewees will be asked relevant questions to their field for the first portion of the mock interview and then provided feedback and tips for the second portion
|Are you a little nervous about attending your first Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference? Or are you a seasoned veteran student interested in meeting more professionals in your field? Would you like the chance to meet and talk individually with one of the professional attendees to learn about their professional journey? If so, sign up for the Conference Mentoring at this year’s meeting!
Mentorship in the natural resources field is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. Both mentor and mentee share responsibility in building a positive relationship that is focused on assisting the mentee as they navigate the natural resources profession and grow professionally. This can include, although not solely limited to: a mentor assisting a mentee with networking opportunities, offering career advice, providing constructive criticism on mentee work products (e.g. talks and poster presentation, resumes, cover letters), communicating resume building opportunities (e.g. prescribed fire and/or wildlife monitoring training opportunities), and encouragement of professional development (e.g. attending and presenting at meetings and seeking further work experience). Equally a mentee shares responsibility in engaging with their mentor by asking questions, taking advantage of opportunities facilitated by the mentor and more.
We will pair interested students with professionals of similar interests to give you the opportunity to interact personally with each other. Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to participate. Professionals will represent management agencies, academic institutions, and non-government organizations in multiple specialties from around the Midwest. This is a unique opportunity to get to know a professional from outside your normal group of colleagues and given society’s move and comfort with virtual interactions, it’s likely that the mentorship will be longer lasting.
Prior to the conference, we will forward contact information to mentors (professionals) and mentees (students). We encourage you to meet early in the conference to get to know each other and to continue your interactions during the sessions, the student-professional networking event on Tuesday, social events and even after the conference has ended! Use this opportunity to get to know someone in your field personally, and get another perspective on what it means to be a fish or wildlife professional today!
Student Mentee Responsibilities:
Professional Mentor Responsibilities:
- Contact your mentor before the meeting to determine how and when you communicate with each other throughout the conference
- Come prepared with some questions to discuss with your mentor. You may consider sending some of your questions to your mentor ahead of time to allow them to reflect on them before your meeting. Mentoring Questions Guide
- Be prepared to share some things about yourself and where you’d like to take your career in fish or wildlife management
If you are interested in signing up for the Conference Mentoring activity, please indicate that on your registration form; and we will follow up with details and instructions for participation and pairing of mentors and mentees. Mentoring will be arranged for in-person and virtual attendees.
- Contact your mentee before the meeting to determine how and when you will meet
- The Student Resource Room will be available as a neutral meeting space to connect and perhaps walk from there.
- The room will be open: Sunday 8:00am-8:00pm; Monday 7:00am-2:00pm, 4:00pm-8:00pm; Tuesday 7:00am-9:00am, 11:00am-2:00pm, 4:00pm-8:00pm; and Wednesday 7:00am-9:00am, 11:00am-12:00pm.
- Engage your mentee during sessions, meetings, social events and at other times to discuss what being a professional means to you and in your field
- Be prepared to share your experiences and professional journey
- Leverage your contact network and introduce your mentee to other professionals who they may be interested in getting to know.
|Tips for Students: Networking and Applications
|Professional tips on networking and job applications, prepared by the 2020 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference Student Events Committee - Illinois host. Click here to download as a PDF.
- Join student organizations such as a Student Subunit of The Wildlife Society, Student Subunit of the American Fisheries Society, Biology Club, etc. on your campus
- Join the National and State Chapters of TWS, AFS or other environmental organizations and attend workshops and/or meetings
- Volunteer to work for a University graduate student, professor or other local fish or wildlife professional for a day or more. Chances are that experience will lead to other opportunities
- Introduce yourself to professionals in your field of interest during conferences
- Present your research at professional conferences. Posters are a great way to get started. No research? Approach a professor at your school doing a project you are interested in and ask about opportunities for extra projects.
- Get one or more mentors to assist you in getting experience and knowledge
Applying for Jobs
- Use CV/resume of others in your profession online as an example of how to develop yours
- Use pertinent online resources to best develop your cover letter, letter of interests, etc. Be sure to tailor your cover letter to the opportunity you are applying for, do not submit the same letter to more than one position.
- Sign your cover letter with your actual signature
- Use proper grammar, spelling and have one or more people proof read your documents
- Do not include any photos of yourself. Do not include age, height weight, etc.
- Write succinctly – a hierarchal bullet point structure works well
- Use language from job description to develop your cover letter, CV/resume, etc.
- Tailor your application materials (e.g., CV/resume) to each job
- Take time to sleuth out who is the leader of the project and their background. You may want to email the person to ask more about the position before you apply, as this will give you a sense of whether the position is suitable, the supervisor’s personality and demonstrate your interest in the position. However, do not harass the leader with emails or calls – one email is enough
- Do not apply last minute if possible, sometimes application systems can have errors and you will want time to work out those issues with human resources if they occur
- Contact hiring manager to make sure your application materials were received