We are here to help! We are committed to help our students know about as many opportunities and gain as many skills as they can before leaving our program to give them a competitive edge in the job market.
Tips for students:
It is important for students to be involved at the university and/or professional field.
Eastern Michigan University requires Learning Beyond the Classroom (LBC) Credit as part of the Gen Ed. program, which can be fulfilled in many different ways. It is important to be active because a university education is about more than just classes. Students involved in activities outside of the classroom have higher retention rates and more positive educational experiences. Learning Beyond the Classroom encourages you to: obtain hands-on experience, gain important skills for future professions, and bridges classroom knowledge with out-of-classroom experiences. Visit the LBC Credit page for more information.
Through the Sustainability Contest, hosted by the ENVI Program in 2013-2014, on EMU's campus there are two student's projects implemented. Rikki Cummins and Anna Pollock installed several recycling units around EMU's main camp. Their goal is to make less landfill waste by making recycling units more accessible for people to chose to recycle (Figure 1). Robert Keast and Caitlyn McGoldrick did a natural planting featuring Milkweed on the hillside in front of Mark Jefferson. This natural planting is low maintenance cost, helps minimize water run off, and gives Monarch Butterflies and other native species a food sources (Figure 2). These projects helped the students to add the experience to their resumes and impact EMU long after they have graduated.
Sustainable Degrees gives more tips to how students can get involved on campus.
Internships/jobs/volunteering can be a stepping stone to your first job.
Jake Bonello, graduated from Eastern Michigan University, as a student from the Environmental Society, Biology Concentration. This is his story:
"Within a matter of just a few months, working for the US Fish and Wildlife Service quickly became one of the biggest goals of my life, and never in my life have I ever pushed myself to the limits like I did for this position. It all started in the winter semester of 2013, I saw an International Wildlife Refuge Alliance job posting for two ecological restoration technicians at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. I applied for the job, interviewed, and was successful. That job lasted until August, and at that time my grant funds expired. I then began continuing my same work on a strictly volunteer basis till the spring of 2015 when a position opened up working for the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as an Invasive Biological Technician. I am responsible for two other technicians and together we spend May through July surveying every property owned by the USFWS and their partners from the mouth of the Rouge River down to the Ohio/Michigan Border. These surveys are to identify populations of wetland invasives that are threatening the biodiversity of our coastal ecosystems. I then spend August and September eradicating populations of invasives that we find most troubling, the big one being common reed (Phragmites australis). Over the fall and winter I am then responsible for: reporting to the Michigan DEQ, and to the USFWS Region 3 office the amount of treatment we accomplished, finding populations of terrestrial invasives and prioritizing their treatment, surveying properties to discover boundary discrepancies, general refuge maintenance, and education and outreach. I continue to learn so much every day while I am at work, but my continuing education in the ENVI program at EMU is proving to be ever so valuable.
I cannot stress enough how valuable working and volunteering is during your undergraduate years. Something you never hear someone tell you while going to school is how important job experience is before graduating, it shows that not only were you getting an education, but you were also putting that new knowledge to use. So make sure you don't underestimate the power of volunteering, USA Jobs (the hiring site for federal jobs) recognizes volunteer experience as work experience, and it is how I was able to meet the two years of work experience requirement for my current position. Also utilize the services EMU offers to students. I met with April Calkovsky, one of EMU's Career coaches, on many occasions and she gave me great tips and advice that helped me along the way. I hope this helps other EMU students reach their goals, never think you are reaching to high, and "Never never never quit".
Networking is key to launching a successful career, because it's not just what you know it's who you know.
Professional Organizations Relating to ENVI Concentrations