By Madelyn Alexander, Editor in chief
For Nick Dumke, the opportunities presented by UM’s Outdoor Scholars Program were enough to convince him to move 1,300 miles away from home to a school he didn’t even visit prior to his decision.
Dumke is a junior at UM, a member of the Outdoor Scholars Program and on the fishing team.
Originally from Minnesota, the leap to a small college in Alabama is a big one, but Dumke’s mind was made when he heard from a friend about UM’s Outdoor Scholars Program.
“I kind of looked all over because I knew I wanted something like this and this was really the only option,” Dumke said regarding UM’s Outdoor Scholars Program.
Dumke finds his involvement in the Outdoor Scholars Program to be a major aide in his preparation for a career post-graduation.
Majoring in marketing and with a social media administration minor, Dumke also uses his time with the Outdoor Scholars Program to practice videography and content creation.
Dumke said students with the Outdoor Scholars Program can be on the film crew at fishing tournaments, an experience that he sees as preparation for the workplace.
After graduation, Dumke hopes to continue pursuing content creation related to the outdoors, and his current internship with Wired2Fish gives him the chance to put his skills to use.
Wired2Fish is a fishing media production company that Dumke hopes will lead him to a job.
He explained how his involvement with the Outdoor Scholars Program is not only building his skillset for the workplace, but also is applicable to his internship.
Outside of videography and content creation, Dumke says there are many ways students with the Outdoor Scholars Program are gaining valuable experience.
“We have a lot of people in the program who are not on the fishing team, the archery team—just people who love the outdoors,” he said.
The program features trips, fundraisers and unique opportunities for all involved, according to Dumke.
“I can think of a handful of people… that have gone into some pretty crazy careers that probably would have never happened if it weren’t for the Outdoor Scholars Program.”
Being part of the program has also shown Dumke what Alabama has to offer. He said his internship will likely take him back home, but staying in-state after graduating is not something he would be opposed to.
“I’ve come to like Alabama quite a bit,” he said.
Dumke did not expect to find so much to like about Alabama when he first moved here, but he has been pleasantly surprised.
“I had no clue there was as much to Alabama as there is,” he said, specifically referencing his time spent around the Coosa River and its extensive system through eastern and central Alabama.
Despite all the traveling, Dumke says students with the Outdoor Scholars Program are encouraged to succeed academically. He has found that most professors are very willing to work with students in the program to make sure they are still getting the education they are here for.
Between the trips, the career preparation and the team-building experience, Dumke has found the Outdoor Scholars Program to be a one-of-a-kind experience.
Madelyn Alexander is the Editor in chief for The Alabamian. She is a senior art major with a minor in multimedia journalism. Her hobbies include ceramics, reading and collecting plants.