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Agrimarketing : Agribusiness Employer Guide 2008
RECENT GRADUATES OFFER ADVICE JOB SEARCHING There are also career guidance tools on the AgCarees.com site. Stu- dents can take different assessments and receive a “Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Career Report” or a “Strong Interest Inventory Profile Report” at a low cost. Gazaway said professional organizations are another good resource to utilize. From Agriculture Future of America to Alpha Zeta to Collegiate Farm Bureau, there are a variety of organizations. She urged students to seek out organizations specific to their industry sector such as the Society of American Foresters or the Golf Course Superintendent Association. HOW TO GET CONNECTED Professional organizations not only serve as an information source for job availability, but they can lead to personal connections within the industry. Those personal connections are very important when it comes to job searching, Gazaway said. Another way to start making con- nections is by attending career fairs. Students should attend career fairs regardless of their year in school, said Laura Boroughs, Kanasa State University (KSU) alumna and Syngenta Crop Protection Sales Rep- resentative. “I think it’s important students attend all the career fairs they can,” she said. “The more times students get their name and face out there through employers, the more they are going to recognize them.” Boroughs met Syngenta at the KSU All University Career Fair in fall 2006 and then again at the KSU Agri-Industry Career Fair in January 2007. “After I graduated in December 2006, I came back and attended the agriculture career fair,” she said. “The first connection with them in Among the many services available to students is the popularwww.AgCareers.comWeb site that regularly reports 2,000 job openings each month. the fall didn’t result in a career opportunity, but it ended up being a good fit later on.” Boroughs said students shouldn’t be discouraged even if the conversa- tion at a career fair doesn’t lead to a job offer. “If you are not a right fit for a company, still continue to use that company as a resource because oftentimes they have many contacts within the industry,” she said. Contacts are what resulted in a job opportunity for Kelly Ansaldo, Fresno State alumna and credit ana- lyst at Bank of the West. After she graduated, Ansaldo took an intern- ship with USDA and was stationed in Kansas when a past college pro- fessor told her about the opening at Bank of the West. “You need to take the personal responsibility of initiating your job search and work at exploring oppor- tunities, but don’t forget about the simple and sometimes most effective resources — people and word of mouth,” Ansaldo said. Ansaldo said one of the best ways to get connected with the industry is through internship expe- riences. Not only did her college internships connect her with indus- try professionals, but she said they offered her industry insight. “I worked for a cotton brokerage company, and learned a lot about cot- ton production as well as brokering,” Ansaldo said. “The internship at Farm Bureau helped me develop client rela- tions skills. My internship with Sena- tor Dean Florez taught me how legis- lation can directly affect farms. And when I was an AgCareers.com Cam- pus Ambassador I learned about human resources and jobs available within the industry.” In addition to internships, Solie advises students to get connected with the industry through job shadowing experiences. She said it helps students when they can see what someone who graduated with their same degree is actually doing in the industry. “It’s so important for students to make the connection between their degree and job opportunities with that degree,” Solie said. “Job shad- (more on page 18) 17
May 2008 Supplement
Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08