Student Blog: Attending the First Career Ecology Event

Jaylin student saying she is creative!
By Retailing major Jaylin Carlson

This year I was lucky enough to attend the very first Career Ecology. The event was geared toward undergraduates interested in pursuing a major within the School of Human Ecology. Students from all disciplines gathered for the event in order to better understand what skills make someone a human ecologist. Even more importantly, to ask how we as human ecologists can apply those skills in the future?

The good news was we were not left to navigate this question on our own. Twenty-six SoHE alumni, representing all six majors, were there to help breakdown the defining characteristics that make up a successful human ecologist. The first way we did this was by participating in a group project.

With one alumni leading our table, five other SoHE students and I worked to pick out five characteristics of a good leader. Once narrowed down, we were asked to create a poster representing each quality using markers, magazines, pipe-cleaners, and other various art supplies. Our group went through a long list of defining words and ultimately narrowed them down to the following:

Career Ecology Poster
• Open-minded
• Creative
• Empathetic
• Good-communicator
• Passionate
After the hard part was over, we worked together to create what I would say was the best poster in the room!



It was awesome to collaborate not only with our alumni, but the other students as well. Although we were all from different majors and backgrounds, it was crazy how much we all had in common as far as our leadership styles. I was also surprised at how willing my team was to jump in and contribute to the project. Everyone was energetic and enthusiastic about the task, which made it that much more fun.

Aside from the poster, we also had a lot of time to talk to our alumni about her career path and what helped her make her decision. It was a time of self-reflection for each of us, as we discussed important strengths and weakness of our personalities. As a group, we were able to dive deeper into why our intended majors were right for us.

If someone would have asked me what makes me a human ecologist before Career Ecology, I don’t know if I would have been able to give them a very good answer. Now I can say with confidence that I am a human ecologist, because

I strive to be a leader in multiple aspects of life in order to improve the community and environment that we as human beings share.

The experience was truly rewarding, and I look forward to attending next year too!

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