We’ve all heard advice about being prepared for an interview. We know to do our homework on the company; know the individuals we’ll be interviewing with and their roles. We think through situational questions and our responses. We’re prepared to tie our experience to the responsibilities of the role we’re interviewing for. And above all else, we come prepared with questions! But do we go past that in our preparation? How often do we think about doing our own analysis of the company; our own interview of them, and how to spot a great boss? I can tell you from personal experience, and some record of job hopping, that it comes with practice. Not to suggest you have to job hop to figure it out – that’s me learning from my mistakes. Hopefully, you can take this advice as you look towards your next, and perhaps last, interview!
How do you spot a great boss and the right fit for you? I’ve tried to simplify what I’ve learned and heard from many mentors over the years it four simple categories.
In 2017, business majors and graduates are looking for ways to increase their earnings. They want to go into their field knowing that they will build a career worthy of the work that they put in. But, they need not worry. There are plenty of options out there.
Those that have a master’s degree in business administration – also known as an MBA – have several careers to choose from. All of these options currently pay their workers a high wage. As a result, people who are still looking at business careers can definitely boost their salary.
Guest Blogger: Christine Kilbride, ChickMaster
‘Tis the season…for college applications! Many high school seniors are currently navigating the grueling college admissions process: writing essays, requesting recommendation letters, deciding where to apply and choosing a major.
Choosing a major may seem like the least daunting task on the list – you can always change it, right? Well technically you can, but changing academic majors can lead to costly extra semesters or even the need to transfer to another school.
So where should you start? Statistically, the most popular majors include Nursing, Education, Business, Psychology and Communications. If none of those options appeal to you – don’t fret; there’s a growing sector that you may not have considered for your future career: agriculture. And particularly, poultry science.
Guest Blogger: AgriCorps Fellow, Lyndee Lum; Agriculture teacher and FFA advisor in Colorado
Towards the end of my senior year as an undergrad, I remember feeling lucky that I had an answer to the, often dreaded, question, “What are your plans after graduation?” I was able to confidently respond with my intent to join AgriCorps and work in Ghana, Africa for 11 months. Granted, this was only one year of my life that I had planned ahead of me, but it was something. At that point, I wasn’t entirely sure what my role would be in the world. My farm background and love for plants and soil led me to believe that I would somehow be connected to the ag industry…but, how?
Six months later, I knew. In a doorless, dusty classroom, with a broken chalkboard and more students than desks, I found my passion: teaching. The students I taught were, hands-down, the most important part of my year in Ghana. I found inspiration in the small “Aha!” moments, and I knew that this was something I had to pursue when I returned home.
Coming from a small town in Southern Saskatchewan, agriculture was one of the clear choices I had when deciding on my future career path. I signed a full-time contract during the fall of my senior year at the University of Saskatchewan to be a Crop Production Advisor with Crop Production Services Canada (CPS), back in my hometown. Although I had a full year of school to finish, I was already mentally preparing for my full time career as a Crop Production Advisor, more commonly known as an agronomist.
You learn pretty quick that each day is a bit different when you are an agronomist. Shortly after harvest, farmers are already planning their crops and growing plans for the upcoming year. A good portion of the time I am working in the world of sales, selling the necessary elements that go into growing a crop. This includes seed (canola, corn, soybeans, wheat and forage seeds), chemical and fertilizer to my growers for various chemical and seed companies (including our own CPS/Agrium/Loveland Crop Inputs products). This involves sitting down with the grower and discussing everything from past yields of crop to soil testing results. The rest of the winter months are spent putting on grower meetings and attending various training sessions in order to become a better advisor for my customers.
Today’s agriculture industry is truly a global network and as a job seeker if you have experienced agriculture around the world, you bring a coveted perspective to the workplace. This experience abroad could last for just a few months or a few years but the skills you gain could help you land your dream job back in North America. For me, that experience was serving as an AgriCorps Fellow in Ghana for a year supporting sustainable agricultural education development. Below are some special skills I acquired abroad and how to demonstrate these skills to employers.
• Resourcefulness: When I worked in a small office in Ghana, we didn’t have a Walmart or a closet full of office supplies to work with so I had to be resourceful when planning trainings and events. This skill in the U.S. might not be in the form of materials but a way of thinking. Being able to use who and what you know to develop a creative solution to a problem is a great asset to any job.
• Being a ‘dot connector’: In order to increase global awareness for 4-H clubs in Ghana and the U.S., I connected a club from my home state to begin a pen pal system with 4-H Ghana. Being able to connect the dots within your network helps create sustainable solutions to challenges and shows an employer the value you add in creating a network and solving problems.
Lingle, Wyoming is home to 480 people and my graduating class had 27 people. My home state has about 580,000 people and is comprised of 97,800 square miles. I now live in Washington, D.C., home to 67,000+ people all squeezed into just over 68 square miles. Needless to say, the two locations are very different!
I grew up on our family farm three miles outside of town where I raised cattle and hogs and worked on our family farm where we grow corn and alfalfa hay. I was active in 4-H and FFA and was fortunate to travel around the U.S. attending conferences, conventions and judging contests. Those travel experiences early in life helped me realize how much there is to see and do in the world and created a desire to take my rural experiences and one day head to “the big city.” After completing my undergraduate degree, I slowly made my way to the East Coast, making stops in Nebraska (graduate school), Florida (for a four-month job that wasn’t a fit), and Indiana (working for the National FFA Organization) before landing in our nation’s capital.
For many in the 21 and up crowd, there is nothing more refreshing than an ice-cold sip of beer, particularly after a hard day at work or on an especially warm summer day. Beer connoisseurs often discuss the intricacies of the various types and tastes of beer, but how many of you have ever thought about how beer is made?
The process of getting your beer from its roots as barley in the field, to the cool refreshing drink in your hand, is a process steeped in agriculture and STEM technology. Beer makers grow or import barley and hops to use in the preparation of this thirst-quenching drink.
After harvesting the barley and hops for the beer, the barley is soaked in water for an hour to help begin the fermentation process. This allows the natural sugars in the barley to escape and produce alcohol as it ferments.
A couple of years ago, I remember talking to a friend after she had gotten out of a job interview. It was for her dream job—an agriculture teacher at a local high school. The program had great potential to grow and it had always been my friend’s goal to build up a high school agriculture program. She had so many ideas of how she could get students involved and expose them to all of the opportunities agriculture has to offer.
During the interview, they asked her one of the most important questions, “Why should we hire you?” This question opened up the door for her to share her vision and the attributes she possessed to make it a reality. She talked about her previous experiences, her passion for agriculture and her desire to positively influence students. More than that, she talked about what she had in common with the students she would be teaching, how she would improve the program and how she would establish connections in the community. She had to advocate for herself and her future students.
When it comes to preparing for an agriculture career, an internship will definitely help you.
Even the most qualified candidates will face a lot of competition for good jobs, so having an internship under your belt could be the differentiator that kicks off a long and fruitful career.
The U.S. edition of AgCareers.com’s 2015 Agribusiness Job Report shows that the total number of job postings in the U.S. and Canada was up 26%, to 81,000+, compared to the year prior. AgCareers.com received almost 6,800 job postings each month throughout the U.S. and Canada last year. While there are plenty of jobs, there are lots of suitable applicants vying for them.
Consider these statistics from the aforementioned study, for example:
With all of those highly trained people either already in or on the verge of entering the agriculture industry, you can improve your odds of landing a job by doing an internship.
Read on for information that’ll help you answer the question: How important are internships?