Ag Spring Career Day to take place at Memorial Union


photo: Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

Karen Leche points out information to Dr. Vidya S. Dhanasekaran at the Ag Career Day. The career fair welcomed 208 businesses and organizations, a record number for the Ag Career Day.

Mike Randleman;

Students of all majors and grade levels are invited to attend the Ag Spring Career Day on Feb. 6 at the Memorial Union.

The spring rendition, put on by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is a relatively new event, being in its sixth year.

The spring event is slightly smaller, with only 110 organizations set to attend, compared to its fall counterpart, which featured 208 organizations.

In its short existence, though, the event has thrived.

“[The agricultural] economy is strong, and we’ve had positive feedback from recruiters,” said Mike Gaul, director of career services for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Incentives for students to attend the spring career day, in addition to the more popular fall fair, reside in that “there are certain groups that may not be in the recruiting mode in the fall, so spring is a good time for them to be here,” Gaul said.

An example of this statement is represented in the quantity of natural resource groups and organizations that will be in attendance.

“We’ve got a great mix of organizations like the Iowa DNR, the Blank Park Zoo, the Omaha Zoo, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — there’s probably about 10 of them out there, that, for the [Natural Resource Ecology Management] students, it’s a good event for them,” Gaul said.

Gaul also attributed a difference in the atmosphere of the spring career day as another positive attribute.

“It’s a little more relaxed, I think, than the fall event, which is probably good for students. For some, this may be the first career day they go to, so maybe a little less formal atmosphere might reduce their anxiety of going there and talking to a company.”

What anxieties do persist can be best cured by thorough preparation in advance of the fair.

“You’ve got to do that research on that company to know what they’re about,” Gaul mentioned.

This can be done via ISU Career Management System, an online tool providing information for students regarding which companies will be in attendance, what jobs these companies are seeking to fill, when they are available for interviews and much more.

This tool is applicable for all students and functions in assisting students planning to attend any fair or career day that Iowa State has to offer.

Similar to how ISU Career Management System is available to all students, such is the case for any career day, which are open to all students.

Tammy Stegman, career coordinator for business career services at Iowa State, urges her advisees to attend any and every career day, including agriculture.

“We tell them to go to the Ag Career Day. Every [agriculture] company needs someone in business, or in public relations or something. These are events that are open to all students,” she noted.