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Agrimarketing : Agribusiness Employer Guide 2008
AGRIBUSINESS EMPLOYER GUIDE GET INVOLVED: YOU WON’T REGRET IT! by Alyssa Bane Marketing and Communications Intern, Agriculture Future of America (AFA) and Junior in Agricultural Communications, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign I was a freshman at the University of Illinois. My parents had moved me in two days prior along with a handful of belongings I managed to squeeze into my dorm room the size of a hospital elevator. I was excited and scared … it was only day two and I felt like I had just been dropped off at camp. Before my parents left they told me, “College will be one of the best times of your life, enjoy every minute of it. Academics are incredibly important, but college is about learn- ing how to learn, networking and discovering who you want to be.” My mom recommended I get involved on campus in one or two organizations that would help me accomplish those three things. She also said I should take time to settle in, establish my grades and then do research to find the best involvement opportunities for me. I didn’t know it at the time, but this advice helped me to succeed during my first two years of college. Getting involved in clubs and organizations is one of the most important components of a student’s college career. Involvement provides opportunities for students to learn from experience; network with peers, staff, faculty and profession- als; and discover who they are and who they want to be in the future. Looking back, my parent’s advice was right on target. I hope their words of wisdom along with my five tips to successful involvement will provide you the tools you need to get involved. Tip 1: How to discover your involvement options. Finding the optimum clubs and organizations for your interests is not always easy — especially if your university has many options. My first move was attending Quad Day, a day that showcases many of the student orga- nizations on campus. While most universities probably don’t use this same name, many have similar func- 22 within your area of study or to visit with your dean, department chair or career services coordinator. These people are knowledgeable about the involvement opportunities and can direct you to a respected organiza- tion that caters to your interests. An upperclassman and one of the assis- tant deans in my college recom- mended that I join the ExplorACES committee which coordinates the largest recruitment event for the Col- lege of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Tip 2: What to look for in an organi- zation. During your search for involvement opportunities, you will discover that there are a variety of options. In order to maximize your involvement experience, I suggest you look for a few key characteris- tics. Most importantly, focus on orga- nizations that relate to your degree. These organizations will interest provide you with exposure to new topics and shows that you are a well- rounded individual with a variety of interests. It is also smart to examine oppor- tunities within the organization including leadership roles, mentoring relationships, networking opportuni- ties, community service and career development. An organization that encapsulates all of these opportuni- ties for me is Agriculture Future of America (www.agfuture.org). One way to discover elite organi- zations is to contact alumni in your area of study. These professionals can tell you what organizations they were involved in as college students and how it benefited them in their careers. During my Ag Journalism Fel- lowship with Monsanto, I asked my mentor, a University of Illinois alumna in my degree program, which student organization has been most valuable to her career and she tions. Events like Quad Day can be overwhelming, but they present a variety of options for you to pursue. Your university’s Web site and cam- pus fliers can also serve as useful search tools. Based on my experience, the best way to find your organization of choice is to ask an upper classman you, look great on your resume and compliment your academic studies. I joined Agricultural Communi- cators of Tomorrow (ACT) to enhance my professional learning experience. However, it is equally important to be involved in organi- zations that are unrelated to your degree. This type of involvement can Students from the Illini Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow take a professional development trip to Rhea + Kaiser, a full-service agency based in Naperville, IL, that works primarily with clients in the agriculture industry.
May 2008 Supplement
Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08