Know what employers are looking for


Katie Herr/Iowa State Daily

The Ag and Life Sciences Career Day was held Tuesday, October 15 at the Lied Rec Center. From 9am-3pm students met with over fifty employers who expressed their enthusiasm for the Liberal Arts and Sciences majors.

Sam Vander Forest

Jobs and internships in agriculture and life sciences can greatly range in both the specific market they are in and the various tasks they entail.

It can be tricky to pin down what employers are looking for in co-ops, interns and new employees. It’s extremely important to research the companies that are of interest and find what they are looking for.

Taking away the specifics of certain companies’ needs, here is a list of the general skills likely to lead to success when working for an agriculture company.

1. Know the specific commodities that will be involved with the job, their market value and their use. Also be aware of the management and sustainability of those resources.

2. With the business aspect of agriculture growing, knowing how to negotiate contracts and handle the business side of the company is essential.

3. Like any job, it is vital to have some level of management and leadership skills to work with fellow employees and clients.

4. Knowing the equipment used in the workplace is important. But it is also important to have a desire to learn of new products to give effective advice to clients and co-workers.

5. There are stringent policies to follow like recording quantities and equipment performances. Be well versed in your desired company’s operations for cleaning and maintaining the equipment in the workplace. 

6. Be sure to have knowledge of safety procedures and safety equipment for personal wellbeing and the company’s sake.

7. Careers in this field need well-rounded people. Being proficient in math, science, system analyses and communication are all essential.

8. Lastly, going into a career in agriculture and life sciences, there is a good chance that it is going to be physically strenuous. Be sure to have experience in the field operations.