Students who develop strong peer and professional networks may find it easier to land a job following graduation, leveraging those contacts for introductions and information about opportunities. Through The Wildlife Society’s commitment to assist and engage the next generation of wildlife professionals, TWS student members will receive free membership in the Student Development Working Group effective July 1.
“TWS has more than 25 outstanding working groups that provide incredible networking and collaboration opportunities,” said Ed Thompson, Chief Operating Officer of The Wildlife Society. “Thanks to the generosity of the donors in TWS’ The 1,000, all students will have the opportunity to learn about the value of working groups and the positive impact these groups can have on their careers.”
According to Krysten Zummo, TWS’ student liaison to Council and current chair of the SDWG, there are two reasons why students tend to shy away from working groups—they either don’t know working groups exist, or they believe the groups are open to professionals only. However, as TWS members, students are eligible to join all working groups. While being a student chapter member is a great way to begin a career in wildlife, Zummo says it is involvement with other factions of TWS that helps students build a network of professional contacts, obtain training in skills required by the profession, and present their research to a wider audience. The SDWG is the only group that caters specifically to the needs and interests of students within the parent society.
“In the past few years, the Student Development Working Group has worked to expand the knowledge of students about the parent society,” Zummo said, adding that working groups would be thrilled to have more student members. “We will now reach every single student that becomes a member of TWS…Hopefully this will also lead to more interest and involvement by students. The more participation we have, the more opportunities we can offer.”
Student Development Working Group Value Proposition
Membership within the Student Development Working Group includes numerous benefits, such as the opportunity to:
- Network with other student members through Google Groups
- Receive first-hand advice on how to transition from students to early career professionals within The Wildlife Society and the wildlife profession
- Apply for travel grants to attend the TWS Annual Conference and other TWS-related meetings
- Receive a weekly student version of the eWildlifer with information geared towards students (academic and career advice, job/volunteer opportunities, etc.)
- Showcase your recent accomplishments, research results and leadership activities (along with other students) to wildlife professionals in a wildlife.org TWS Student Spotlight article
To learn more about the SDWG, visit https://wildlife.org/sdwg/ and like them on Facebook. SDWG officer elections for the 2016-2017 year will be held in the next few months. If you are interested in running for Treasurer, Secretary or Chair-Elect, or have questions, contact Krysten Zummo at email@example.com.