Third Annual Environmental Career Forum
The University of St. Thomas hosted the Third Annual Conservation, Ecology and Environmental Career Forum on Feb. 23. In past years, Houston Community College hosted the event. However, to showcase the Pocket Prairie, the venue moved to UST this year.
“Many groups are interested in how to get projects like this going at their institutions,” Dr. Amber Miller, STEM Success Center director, said. “So we had the student, Erin Novak, who initiated this project and is now a graduate student at Texas A&M, come give a tour of the Prairie and talk about her work getting the project started.”
Along with UST, nine other institutions were represented at the event: Rice University, HCC, University of Houston, University of Houston-Downtown, UH-Victoria, UH-Clearlake, Texas Southern University, University of Texas-Arlington and Texas A&M. A total of 75 people, ranging from students to Career Services staff, attended to view the Pocket Prairie and the four panels showcased at the event.
In addition to highlighting different environmental and conservation careers, the panels of this forum focused on “soft skills.” In other words, each featured a skill that students can develop to stand out from the crowd as they progress toward future careers.
“It made me realize that now is the time to start making connections and also keep an open mind about other career opportunities,” freshman Sara Aguila, a Biology major, said. “I also learned about many interesting volunteering opportunities and internships.”
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“I received a lot of helpful advice that I feel is applicable in virtually any career: the importance of mentors, finding where your passions lie so you can align your career plans towards them and the need for flexibility,” said sophomore Hendra Hoang, who’s pursuing a B.A. in Biology. “Meeting with these professionals and hearing about their life experiences puts much of my future into perspective: Whatever it is that I choose to do, if I commit myself to excellence in it, it will not be a waste of my talents.”
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Story by Katie Fleming