Alumni Stories—Sara Wesner
BS, Wildlife Ecology and Management, 2008
Current job/field: Natural Land Management Graduate Intern
Employer: Waukesha County Parks and Land Use
Sara Wesner graduated from Michigan Tech in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology Management. She is currently a natural land management graduate intern with the Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land Use in Wisconsin. As an intern, her responsibilities include
- working with conservation biologist, park program specialist, and park supervisors to develop projects for volunteer groups;
- developing timelines for volunteer projects;
- communicating project work plans to volunteer groups and assisting them in completing their assignments; and
- working with park field staff to evaluate and coordinate natural land management projects for a given year.
To help her land the graduate internship, as well as a previous position, Sara used the Internet as a job-searching tool and bookmarked the following websites:
- The School’s career resources web page
- Local county and city websites
- Wisconsin DNR website
Sara has these words of wisdom for current students in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science:
My education at Michigan Tech has provided me with the ability to plan, organize, and lead groups to complete various tasks. Also, my teaching assistant position in the Field Techniques course (in the School) helped me to develop the skills necessary for teaching others how to use different equipment. Just about everything I learned at Michigan Tech, whether it was gleaned from the classroom or from my experiences in the Alpha Delta Alpha sorority, I have been able to apply to my first or current job. I learned about leadership, hard work, showing compassion, and what I want to do. All of my college experiences helped me to become the strong, independent woman I am today.
My experiences in the working world have taught me much, as well. I have had the opportunity to explore the recreational and urban aspects of forestry while working for the Waukesha County Parks System. One piece of advice I can offer to first-time job seekers is this: your first job right out of college may not be your dream job. However, with the experience of my first job, I was able to prove to future employers that I was capable of applying what I learned in college to real life. That first job gave me the head start I needed to realize more about myself and what I wanted to do with my degree. I was also able to obtain the training necessary for entering into a more advanced position. Just make the best of your first job while you can and work hard to get to where you want to be.