Hannah Smith, who will graduate from the Agricultural Business Management (ABM) program in December 2021, is using her last several months as a student to serve as a Junior Ambassador. Hannah says that her experience as a Junior Ambassador has assisted her in networking, public speaking, professional conversation, and collaboration. By participating in the Executive in Residence Series (career advice sessions from successful ag professionals), meetings, panels, and round-table style talk she was able to hone her communication and marketing skills. She is able to encourage new students to share the experience by communicating weekly with prospective students interested in the major. She has also helped with recruiting events such as the ABM Open House and she recently took the lead on a stakeholder communications initiative. Hannah says, “my duties as an ambassador have also helped me learn how to practice my creativity and problem-solving skills on a number of different projects.”
Hannah describes the ABM major as having a “small school feel” which helps students create relationships with faculty and their advisers. She feels as though the program’s professionals put a priority on the success of their students and make themselves available for help when needed. Hannah says she loves the ABM major because it has numerous resources for professional development and employment opportunities. The program has achieved an ease about setting students up for a successful career after graduation. “Three years into the ABM major, I feel that I am very prepared for professional life-post grad” Hannah said.
Hannah took agriculture classes and was a member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) club in high school. She initially decided to pursue Agricultural Education and become an Ag teacher but after a year into the major she found ABM and made the switch. She says the opportunities and resources of the ABM program persuaded her to change her major. Hannah says she does not have a single regret.
When asked what made her choose ABM, she said that she was sure that she wanted to be involved in the business development or operations process, and combine it with her love for agriculture. Before incorporating her two interests, she met with the Undergraduate Coordinator, John Russ, for advice and more information. Russ helped her evaluate her career paths and explore options that would fit her personality
Hannah’s advice to students is to take advantage of the resources available. She urges students to go to events like careers fairs or seminars for networking and professional development. Hannah encourages participation in workshops and participation in any work experience available. She explains that this will help build a strong resume that demonstrates preparedness for the real world. She also wants incoming ABM students to know that the program advisors are always willing to help.