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Who We’re Hiring At…The USDA

Melissa Barbour
Intern Support Office Director
Human Resources

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is a multi-faceted agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities.

What qualities are you looking for in the “student of the future”? Why?

We are looking for students who are excited about public service and interested in working in a science-based organization.

It is important that students demonstrate drive, creativity, and a passion to help forward our mission of protecting American agriculture.

APHIS works on a wide range of issues and in a wide range of work environments and we recruit students who embrace challenges and opportunities.  To accomplish this work APHIS needs a variety of skill sets from a number of disciplines, including: veterinarians, plant pathologists, entomologists, biologists, accountants, analysts, communication specialists, and behavioral scientists, among others.

Whether working on an emergency response, developing policy, or conducting routine agricultural safeguarding activities in communities, all employees work cooperatively with each other and our myriad stakeholders.

APHIS is committed to quality customer service and the ethical principles that guide customer service.

What makes a resume stand out?

It is important that students have a variety of coursework and experiences such as internships, community service, or summer jobs.  No matter what field we are in, success in the workplace is about much more than our degrees.

Success is the ability to apply our knowledge in various situations and continue to learn as our careers evolve.  By showing how the skills they have learned previously will help in the position they are applying for, students are highlighting that they can successfully apply their coursework and experiences!

What can CALS do to make sure we’re building the employees you need in the future?

Talk with the students about the complexity of job paths and the importance of transferrable skills.  Many of us go to school for one thing, and then our careers evolve and we end up doing something completely different.  Students need to understand that the ‘real world’ will be complex and their ‘path’ might change as they walk it. It is important to understand how skills can be applied in different environments.  Understanding this, will help to build the students of the future.

Develop students with a healthy world view. Our employees are located throughout the United States, in multiple U.S. Territories, and in countries worldwide.  We are on the job around the clock, protecting America’s agricultural and natural resources. Students who come to us must understand and respect diversity. Our Agency reflects the diversity of the U.S. public we serve, and every person who stands to benefit from our services must do so equally and fairly.