110 companies to attend spring Ag Career Day


Katie Herr/Iowa State Daily

The Ag and Life Sciences Career Day was held Oct. 15, 2013 at the Lied Rec Center. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., students had the opportunity to meet with over fifty employers relating to agriculture and life sciences. 

Ali Luety

Students hopeful for jobs and internships may find the spring Ag Career Day helpful.

The Ag Career Day is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 4 in the Memorial Union.

Michael Gaul, director for career placement for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, explained that the event is very different from what students experienced at the Fall Ag Career Fair.

The difference lies in the size of the events and the focus of companies attending. There tends to be more of a competitive nature at the fall event compared to the spring Ag Career Day simply because fall is prime recruitment season for most internships.

“There are companies that are here that are full from fall, but they attend to maintain campus presence,” Gaul said. “And then there are companies that are recruiting for next summer already.”

Some companies, however, simply do not start recruiting interns until the spring. Agricultural communications and natural resource positions are examples of areas that may be just starting recruitment for this summer.

The spring Ag Career Fair is a great second chance for students who do not have summer plans yet, Gaul said. 600 to 700 students will attend this event, whereas more than 2,000 students attended the fall event.

“If you’re an undergrad or graduating senior, and you have nothing going on, you need to get over there. In this competitive market you cannot afford to waste a summer,” Gaul said. “Your internships are key to success.”

Chad Meyer, MaxYield Cooperative representative, looks for specific qualities in internship or full-time position candidates.

“First, the individual must fit the culture of the work environment,” Meyer said.

Meyer went on to emphasize how important it is to have quality internship experience.

“It’s kind of a standard that you have multiple internships,” Meyer said.

Meyer views the Ag Career Day as a tremendous tool for students to learn about opportunities in agriculture.

Bailey Petersen, senior in Animal Science, understands the value internships have on her future.

“Both the fall and spring career fairs throughout my college career have helped me gain so much more confidence in speaking professionally to company representatives,” Petersen said. “The career fairs give students the opportunity to network with companies in their industry and learn about potential careers and internships within each company.”

Gaul, Meyer and Petersen all offered advice to students attending the Ag Career Day.

“Have a neat and organized résumé reviewed by someone you trust,” Meyer said.

Petersen suggested researching companies and brainstorming questions to ask the company representatives. She also advised students to be professional, yet stay true to who they are.

“Bring several résumés, dress business professional and be yourself,” Petersen said. “Let the companies decide if you are a perfect fit for them.”

Gaul encourages students to use the CyHire system and find out what companies are staying to interview students. He instructs students to take initiative and ask for an interview time.

Creating connections with company representatives can only help students in the future, Gaul said.

“Even if you have an internship lined up, go and network,” Gaul said. “There’s not a closer knit industry than agriculture and it is all about making positive professional connections.”