We know that our students receive an excellent education from our department, but developing transferrable skills and a personal network are what help undergraduates secure a great job once the graduate! We offer many opportunities for our students to expand their skills set and seek support to continue to fund experience such as these and also to develop additional programming.
Donating to the Professional Development fund supports the below activities and allows us to add more essential professional development activities.
Mock Interviews, Resume Review, and Cover Letter Revisions
ARE has several employees and a student career coach in the department to aid students with resume development, interview practice, and to provide help with cover letters. These services are offered on a rolling basis as needed.
Executive in Residence
Twice per week, Ag Business welcome an executive from companies of interest to our students for 3 hours per session. These drop-in hours allow undergraduates to drop in to chat with folks seeking to hire our students in a casual setting, putting all at ease.
Twice per semester, we offer a 90-minute evening session for students to practice mingling and performing company research, have their resumes reviewed, and partake in a mock interview. Staff, faculty, and outside guests help with these programs.
Students make network connections while learning how to conduct themselves during business meals. Mingling during cocktail hour, various table manners, and appropriate discussion topics are reviewed and practiced.
Both Ag Business Management Professionalism classes welcome professional panels at least once a semester. Made up of 3 employees in the agriculture and business fields, these panels offer students an opportunity to ask questions about job applications, seek advice for college extracurriculars, and glean information about what helps job applicants stand out in the interview process.
ARE Speaker Series
Once per month, the department invites a guest speaker, typically an alum, to share career experiences and advise in a more formal setting. As a part of this programming, we allow time for mingling so students can enhance that professional skill as well.
One to two times per semester, the department staff, faculty, and students travel to ag ventures across the state to network and learn more about work at that particular organization. Lunches and travel are provided and our students are afforded valuable networking time in a unique setting!
While new students are required to job shadow, all of our students are encouraged to shadow as often as possible. Visiting various job sites in the ag and business industries for 4-8 business hours enhances our students’ soft skills including communication, time management, and critical thinking. Participating companies express appreciation for the opportunity to meet potential future employees and give back to the program that enabled their own careers.
Our Ambassadors are selected based on interview and professional references. Each year, six ambassadors support our programming related to recruitment, professional development, and project support. Ambassadors influence programming and lead quite a bit of the effort to prepare and advertise for our events. Through this work, ARE Ambassadors develop highly sought-after transferable skills including leadership, teamwork, time management, and active listening skills. Each year, three senior ambassadors receive payment for their work and host office hours to complete projects.
Internships provide our undergraduates an opportunity to cultivate important transferrable skills while earning class credit. We have pre-set internships with 5 local companies and are open to establishing this programming with other organizations.