Guest Blog: A Career in Conservation

Today’s guest blog is by Eddie McKenna (’04 College, Anthropology & Communication), now an employee with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Communications Division.

Penn Career Services has been a key university resource for me when I have needed it most, particularly for resume reviews and mock interviews.  It is a pleasure to be part of that resource myself for other Penn students and alumni and I hope everyone takes full advantage.

I work for Texas Parks and Wildlife, the agency responsible for the management and conservation of fish and wildlife populations in Texas as well as 93 state parks and historic sites. In PA it might be the equivalent of Pennsylvania State Parks, Pennsylvania Game Commission, and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission all rolled together.

Although I am not a park ranger or a biologist by training, my work does revolve around conserving natural resources and offering recreational opportunities to one and all.  My Penn anthropology and communications majors serve me well. This was not my first job out of college, but it has certainly become my favorite.

I would encourage Penn students and alumni to consider public service careers, to know what they want from a career and express it to others, and to pursue their dream employment environments based on the people and the places rather than the starting salary.

You have a job. Now what?!

by Robert Gannone

Now that you have a job, you may be thinking of how to advance your career in the years to come. One of best opportunities to advance your career path is to connect with other people in your profession.  Joining a professional association is an ideal way to connect with professionals, who have shared interests. A professional association’s goal is to further a particular field and to enhance the careers and knowledge of individuals engaged in that profession.

As you have heard before, networking is one of the best ways to hear about new companies or open positions. More importantly, it’s simply a great way to expand your career horizons.  By being engaged in a professional association, you can meet with others in your field and share your ideas about your profession and its direction.  Some professional associations also offer certifications or licenses.  These can also help to advance your career because they are earned from a professional organization and given to a person who has been designated as qualified to perform a job or task.

There are many professional associations in industries as varied as healthcare, academia, public administration, and urban planning. Whatever your field or your area of interest, professional associations offer a way to keep in touch with policy developments and an opportunity to network with others who share your interests. They typically also offer annual expos and meetings. Professional associations can have a national, local, or state focus.  For example, associations ranging from local to national include such organizations as the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia, the Texas Music Teachers Association, and the National Black MBA Association.

To find a listing of professional associations in your career or field of interest, visit one of the following sites:

You can also search for professional licenses by industry by going to the following website: