Classroom Press with Jess: ERHS 492 – Environmental Health Seminar

Jessie Trudell

This week, I took a gander into the exciting ERHS 492, which is an eight-week environmental health seminar course.

A what, you ask? It’s an eight-week spring course specifically for juniors studying environmental health to prepare them for a seven-credit internship during their senior year.

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“We talk about writing résumés and cover letters, interviewing skills, preparing for networking events like the Career Fair, creating LinkedIn accounts, certifications, careers and graduate school,” wrote Erin Reichert, instructor for ERHS 492, in an email to the Collegian.

Unlike other classes, however, this class features a networking event held at the Hilton Hotel as the course comes to a close.

CSU environmental health students and professionals from various fields meet at the networking event.
Colorado State University environmental health students and professionals from various fields meet at the networking event.

This year was the fifth year of the event, and 54 juniors and seniors, as well as 50 environmental health professionals, attended. Attendees were divided into 10 groups.

“Each group had five to six students and five environmental health professionals sitting in a circle,” Reichert wrote. “A designated small group leader led discussions around questions posed to the professionals.

Some of the questions asked were:
– What is your educational background?
– How did you get started in your job?
– Why did you choose this path?
– What professional associations are you involved in?
– Can you offer any graduate school/career advice?

“Each group had a mix of private industry, consulting and government,” Reichert wrote. “We had an alumnus come from the CDC in Atlanta and another from Starbucks in Seattle.”

Reichert stated that the process goes through rotations, with students changing groups to meet as many different professionals as possible. At the end of the event, students had the opportunity to connect with individuals, share business cards and network through one-on-one conversations.

“I actually had some people who stayed two hours after the event because they were still talking,” Reichert wrote.

Collegian Reporter Jessie Trudell can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @JessieTrudell.