How to prepare for Ag Career Day

Lindsey Wanninger

Suits, smiles and intimidating employers are a few things you will notice when walking into the Ag Career Day at Iowa State. The career fair is helpful for students, as it gives them an opportunity to land an internship, part-time or full-time job. Students put a lot of time and effort into this event with hopes that it will pay off.

The career fair can be a breeze if time is taken to prepare for it. Iowa State provides resources to guide you through how to make your resume worth reading as well as mock interviews. Some of the seminars they offer cover resumes, cover letters and interviews. Every college within the university offers their own career services. Contact the Career Services within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the staff members will help you review your resume and cover letter. They also provide mock interviews and can help search for jobs and internships. The college’s Career Services is located in 0015 Curtiss Hall and can be contacted by phone or email to make an appointment.

“Your confidence is the most important thing to bring to the fair,” said Mitch Rupiper, 2012 graduate of Iowa State and an employee for Prime Inc. “Be confident to impress.”

Rupiper said the most important thing you can do to prepare for the fair is to research the employers who will be there. Researching, he said, will boost your confidence when talking to the employers. He got his job at a career fair when he was a student here and now comes back as a recruiter for his company.

One thing that surprised Rupiper was the amount of wrinkled dress shirts. He said it is also important to dress the part of a future employee. A suit is appropriate and the most popular choice of clothing for the career fair. If you decide to wear a dress shirt, make sure it is ironed before attending.

“Eye contact and smiling at each individual employer is important,” said Kevin Kavanaugh, from ConAgra Foods. “In the corporate world, you do not realize how important little investments in people are because down the road you may encounter the people you were either nice to, or blew off. First impressions matter.”

“Go there with a purpose and know what you want,” said Jessica Ashton, human resources manager for Central Farmers Cooperative. “Be personable and have a genuine interest in the company.”

Ashton said for them to be impressed by you, ask the right questions and know some information about the company before attending, such as where the company is located.