Virtual CALS Career Fair helps students find career opportunities

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Fair virtually took place Tuesday and Wednesday.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Fair virtually took place Tuesday and Wednesday.

Audrey Holtkamp

Students explored career opportunities from 175 organizations at the fall 2020 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Career Fair.

The event took place virtually on the CareerEco website from 10 a.m to 5 p.m Wednesday and Thursday.

Colton Holdgrafer, freshman in animal science, said he made sure to research the organizations attending and get familiar with the website before the fair.

Taylor Flemming, junior in animal science, did her own research as well.

“I did look at the roster to see what companies there were and then to also see what majors they were kind of interested in and the positions they were offering,” Flemming said.

Sophie Adams, freshman in global resource systems, said she was a little nervous because it was her first career fair but felt relieved after talking to representatives over a video call went well.

“I think it went really well, especially considering that there’s not a whole lot of opportunities [for freshmen], but I really just went to kind of dip my toes in it,” Adams said.

Representatives of organizations could choose whether they wanted to host the students on video calls or in virtual chat rooms. Flemming said she preferred the video call she had with Summit Agricultural Group to the virtual chat rooms of other organizations that she joined because it was more like the in-person fairs she had previously attended.

“I liked [the video call] because I got to at least have a little interaction like you normally would,” Flemming said.

Adams also preferred the video calls to the virtual chat rooms.

“I liked the video call ones because I like talking to people face-to-face in a conversation,” Adams said.

Holdgrafer was only able to participate in the virtual chat rooms and said he would have preferred to talk to representatives in-person because he has a better understanding of how to talk in interviews in-person than online.

Holdgrafer also said he struggled to find opportunities that he qualified for as a freshman.

“A lot of them wanted older students or expected certifications, which, certifications are achievable as freshmen, but due to [COVID-19], a lot of the training that you have to go through for the certification aren’t happening,” Holdgrafer said.

Although there were limited options for Holdgrafer, he said the fair helped him better understand the kind of career path he wants to take.

Adams also said she had a positive experience at the fair.

“I would highly recommend it to anybody who’s thinking about doing it,” Adams said.

Flemming attended career fairs that were in-person before, and despite preferring those, she said she was still glad she got the opportunity to speak with companies she was interested in working for. She also said she recommends career fairs for other students.

“Even if you don’t get an internship, that doesn’t mean you won’t gain something from it,” Flemming said.