Spring Ag Career Day provides second chance to secure internships


Photo: Kelsey Kremer/Iowa State

Photo: Kelsey Kremer/Iowa State Daily

Kendra Alley

It’s not too late to land a summer internship in agriculture and related fields. The Ag Career Day is expecting about 90 businesses to attend, and many are still looking for internship applicants. Although, this is a smaller number of companies that attend than in the fall there are still plenty of opportunities for summer internships.

“You know that’s what’s really great about the spring event, a lot of these companies are actually coming because they are looking for people rather than just coming for face time, which some do, but the bulk are looking for people,” said Michael Gaul, director of career placement in agriculture career services.

The spring career day has fewer companies attend because of the competitive job market — companies are starting to recruit students earlier in the year. This is why there is so much emphasis on attending the fall career fairs and why the career fairs in the fall attract more attention from both students and companies.

“One of the trends we’ve seen is what we call frontloading where companies and organizations are really looking to do the bulk of their hiring during the fall months even for summer interns and as well as for May graduates there. They’re trying to get the best talent they can as early as possible, and put the whole recruiting thing to rest really,” Gaul said.

However, some companies and organizations are not ready to hire in the fall and prefer to hire students during the spring career day. Some of the businesses that look to hire more in the spring are natural resource positions such as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Army Corp of Engineers and zoos.

“Natural resource side of things its just about timing — they’re just not ready to go with things. Maybe because budgets aren’t realized until Jan. 1, so they’re just not ready to go until spring time,” Gaul said.

A key ingredient to making a successful trip out of the Ag Spring Career Day is to come prepared to the event.

“I have improved my resume as well as looking on CMS, researching what companies will be at the career fair, so I can do my homework and know everything about that company before I approach them on Ag Career Day,” said Zachary Boss, sophomore in agricultural business.

It is important to figure out beforehand which companies interest you and will fulfill your needs. It is wise to create a speech about yourself and the things that are necessary for the business to know about you.

Companies are interested in hiring interns that are going to be confident and be able to express their talents. An easy was to research the companies that will be attending is by using the ISU CMS system. The ISU CMS system directly links to all of the companies’ websites.

“The spring event has a lot of great success stories that come out of it, there really are. There’s just a great opportunity to get in front of people that are coming to campus to recruit you,” Gaul said.