April 3rd, 2019
Mock interviews prepare students as future Natural Resources professionals
Front row, left to right: Adam Crayton, Jenna Smith, Marlee Shumate, Khristyn Towles, Emily Blubaugh, Diana Burch, Caroline Blizzard (Maryland DNR Park Service).
Back row, left to right: Drew Keller, Hunter Witmer, George Eberling (Maryland DNR Forest Service), Greg Short (AllStar Ecology), Karina Stonesifer (Maryland DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service), Donnelle Keech (The Nature Conservancy), Jeremy Martin, Miranda Nealis.
Garrett College's Natural Resources and Wildlife Technology program is one of the College's signature degree programs receiving nationwide recognition. Led by Kevin Dodge, Director of Natural Resources and Wildlife Technology (NRWT), the associate in applied science degree program attracts and welcomes students across the state and surrounding region, while preparing them to become the next generation of natural resource professionals in the workforce.
Designed to represent a wide range of study, this unique program appeals to students interested in careers focusing on wildlife, fisheries, forestry, soils, wetlands, parks, and other areas of natural resources management and conservation. Graduates from the program are prepared to find employment as technicians in these fields, but many choose to pursue additional education towards a bachelor's degree. Those who transfer to a four-year school after graduation find that they are exceptionally well-prepared for upper division classes at that university.
Ten students in the NRWT program are on track to graduate this May. As part of the curriculum, students are required to enroll in a seminar II course, NRW289, during the final spring semester. The course aims to introduce students to effective job search strategies and prepare them for employment promptly after graduation.
The course emphasizes identifying an ideal position, preparing an effective resume and cover letter, interviewing, and using multiple resources to locate internships and job opportunities in the natural resources and wildlife technology field.
During a recent class session, students experienced genuine mock interview scenarios with natural resources professionals representing the private, public and non-profit career sectors.
Five regional experts conducted mock interview sessions to all NRWT students. Students must prepare for the mock interviews as they would a real-world job interview: wearing appropriate interview attire, eloquently verbalizing academic and professional accomplishments, and discussing technical skills and proficiencies.
The mock interview activity is only one of a variety of employability skills seminar II students experience in the spring semester immediately before graduation.
"This class is thoughtfully designed to teach students how to search for, apply to, and successfully secure a job in the natural resources and wildlife technology sector," stated Ashley Ruby, director of GC's advising and academic success center and seminar II instructor.
"Over an eight-week period, students learn many of the tangible skills employers are looking for in today's workforce. NRWT graduates leave Garrett College with a striking resume, interview confidence, and - very often - a job in the natural resources industry!" Ruby noted.
The NRWT program includes practical, field-based instruction and hands-on classes (most with an outdoor component). Students learn a variety of real-world skills, including how to manage wildlife habitats, sample fish populations, survey timber, map plant and animal communities, monitor rare plant and animal species, restore eroded stream banks and degraded wetlands, and help children learn about nature.
In addition, students enjoy small classes and personalized attention, advanced technology including Geographic Information Systems and Global Positioning Systems, employment and volunteer opportunities, class trips to the Chesapeake Bay and other regional environments, and spring break trips to southeast Arizona.
For more information on the Natural Resources and Wildlife Technology program, contact the Office of Admissions at 301-387-3044 or visit https://www.garrettcollege.edu/natural-resources-and-wildlife-technology.php