Q&A with a career fair future employer

Amy Thompson

There will be more than 160 future employers Oct. 19 at Agriculture Career Fair, and every year it keeps getting bigger and bigger. There will be companies there that have been coming for years and companies that are new to the fair this year.

Lynn Lotocki is a human resource specialist with the Farm Credit Administration in McLean, Va., She answered a few questions concerning the career fairs that they choose to attend.

How do you choose which career fairs to attend?

It is usually based on the university career fairs where we have had success in the past in recruiting students. Although we do conduct an annual review of our recruiting events.

Why do you choose the ones you choose?

We look for a career fair, which will attract students with majors in finance, accounting and economics with an emphasis in finance or accounting.

Do you go to the same ones every year?

Usually, although some fairs are dropped from the schedule and some are added depending on the previous year’s experience.

Is there a certain geographical area that you company likes to stick with when recruiting students?

Not necessarily. We are nationally based with offices in Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colo.; Bloomington, Minn.; McLean, Va.; and Sacramento, Calif.

Does the college/university have to be a certain size or have a huge agricultural background for you to attend?

Although we are very passionate about agriculture, the university need not be a certain size or have a huge agricultural department. In fact, a fair number of our entry-level hires have no agricultural background at all.

How many of your positions get filled by students that you interviewed at a career fair?

We hire for approximately 15 entry-level positions nationwide each year and students recruited at career fairs fill almost all.

Piece of advice for students job searching at career fairs?

It helps to have an unofficial transcript as well as a resume to hand to a recruiter. Ask recruiters what they are looking for in an ideal candidate — specifically what knowledge, skills and abilities are they looking for. If you are asked to interview, be well prepared and able to cite specific assignments, projects or extracurricular activities that support your knowledge, skills and abilities. Be able to describe those assignments in detail.