Forest Management major Craig Person attended the Society of American Foresters’ National Convention in Portland, Oregon in October. He found this convention to be a maturing experience that pushed him to think about his future career, while also allowing him to have fun with his fellow students.

For me, attending the Society of American Foresters’ National Convention was the first time I really started to think about my career, future, and life after college, and really the first time I had talked and interviewed with potential employers. Therefore, it truly was a maturing and developing experience. Ever since the conference, I have been poised and focused on my future, in contact with employers, and seriously thinking about what it is I want to do. The Society of American Foresters sparked my consideration of what is to come in life and where things are going, and I am truly thankful that I was able to partake in such an experience.

Travel is exceedingly important in my opinion, and it gives one new and favorable perspectives. I think that everyone should take opportunities to travel when they can, especially when funding can be allocated, like in this situation. Travel introduces new thoughts and opinions, and brings one in touch with new people, which is always important as one must be able to work with all kinds of people in any job setting that they will find themselves in.

Furthermore, I thoroughly enjoyed competing in the quiz bowl. I loved taking on other schools with fellow classmates. It was one of the first times I really felt unified and connected to my classmates as we had to work together on a team in order to defeat other big name rival schools such as Georgia! I was team captain, so it truly was a thrill answering the questions and being in charge of the team. If I could do it again, I would have studied more in order to take us further among the ranks. Nonetheless, the tournament felt like we were competing in the NCAA basketball tournament and dancing through the rounds as we beat schools from across the country.

Lastly, it was amazing to see everyone in the Forest Management community there and present in one or two rooms. I could really feel the small community that my major encompasses. It was an amazing feeling to know how close knit everyone in Forest Management really is. Everyone knows everyone and the community is surrounded around helping one another from college to college and from company to company. That is really important to know, but it might not be made clear if you do not go to conferences like this! All in all, this was a fantastic and enriching experience and it should be noted that these kinds of opportunities exist through and in our university as they are very important for opening students to new perspectives, people, and future career opportunities!