Career fair places students in the agriculture industry

Maia Zewert

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences hosted its spring career fair on Wednesday in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. Those who attended had the chance to visit with 105 companies and organizations within the agriculture industry.

“I’m very pleased with the turnout today,” said Mike Gaul, director of career placement for CALS.

Iowa State hosts one of the largest agriculture career fairs in the nation each fall, a reputation that carried over to the spring.

“The agriculture college at Iowa State has always had a good reputation for turning out strong students,” said Rob Meade, human resources director for Agriland FS, Inc.

“There’s just a drive to get into work that’s related to their field,” Meade said.

Benjamin Carlson graduated from Iowa State in December with a double major in environment studies and agriculture studies. Carlson was also at the career fair, except instead of looking for his own internship or job, this time he was representing Pinnacle, an environmental consulting firm.

“It’s interesting being on the other side,” Carlson said.

Carlson was offered the job while he was working on his family’s Christmas tree farm, but he had plenty of experience going to career fairs while he was a student.

“Be prepared and be sure to do your research beforehand,” Carlson said.

Daweyn Albertsen, junior in animal science, has a similar game plan.

“Before I come to the career fair, I look at the companies who are coming and pick out the key ones I want to visit,” Albertsen said. “Then I research the positions they’re trying to fill to find out what they’re looking for.”

While some companies are looking for students for summer internships, others are trying to hire for permanent positions. The Climate Corporation, a San Francisco-based supplemental insurance company, came to the career fair looking for district managers for the Midwest.

“By having a career fair specifically for the college of agriculture, we know we’ll be meeting with people who are passionate about the industry,” said Kimberly Palmer, recruiter for The Climate Corporation. Palmer also attended the fall career fair and was able to find an ISU student to fill a job.

Students who did not find that perfect internship or job at the career fair should not be discouraged. Just by coming to the career fair, students were able to meet some important people from the industry they hope to work in someday.

“This is a great way to network and get your name out there,” Albertsen said.