I’ve always thought that one of the hardest (but also one of the most common) interview questions to answer is, “What are you most proud of?” Not everyone thinks of their accomplishments as anything major, but it’s important to share them with your interviewer for them to understand what you are capable of and what fulfills your pride (as they certainly want you to be proud of your work if you end up as their employee). Your interviewer will also be looking for an answer detailing the process of how you accomplished whatever it is that you are most proud of.
First of all, here’s how to NOT answer the question (as I did for my first real job interview): don’t give a short answer. There should be a story involved here with a beginning and an ending. You should lead the interview from how this accomplishment materialized through the end result and then why you are proud of it.
Danielle Tucker joins AgCareers.com this summer as our Marketing Intern in Ames, Iowa. She is currently a student at Iowa State University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and a Master’s of Business Administration.
What will you be working on this summer with AgCareers.com?
I will be working on a few large projects including creating an Ag Major Profile section for the website and putting together reports for companies about what their interns experienced. Also, I will be doing some benchmarking analysis on AgCareers.com to see how well we are serving customer needs. I will be writing articles and blogs about multiple areas in the workplace. I look forward to helping with the Roundtable as well and experiencing it for the first time!
What are you most excited for about this internship?
I’m excited to gain experience in marketing! I recently headed a new direction in school by pursuing a MBA along with my Animal Science major so this internship will allow me to explore areas within the business industry while still being involved in agriculture.
Don’t hate me–I know, this blog post may not be super timely, as most of the college students I’m speaking to at this moment have just recently become graduates. But there’s still time to say you got a job right out of college if you haven’t already! Here are a few tips on how to land a job right out of college:
Not Too Picky, Now: I have always felt that you have a right to be picky with what you choose to pursue in terms of a career. It’s something you could be doing for a long time, so you should pick something that you want to do. But let’s get down to earth: if it’s your first job, it’s okay to go with something that isn’t your dream job right off the bat. Your dream job might not be available right now, so go for something that you can see improving you in the meantime.
Get Professional: Time to shape up social media profiles and get a professional email address. No more firstname.lastname@example.org or alcohol in your in profile picture.
On April 27, I had the pleasure to virtually attend STEMConnector’s first #AGis Town Hall meeting live from Washington, D.C. STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) are critical career areas we at AgCareers.com frequently advocate for, and as supporters of STEMConnector, we eagerly share in VP/Chief Strategy Officer Ted Wells’ opening remarks: “Agriculture is critical in order to sustainably feed the world.” And what better way to do this than to pursue careers in STEM?
Kevin O’Sullivan, Vice President of Global Equipment and Engineering Technologies at PepsiCo, opened the seminar by sharing, “There’s a stigma attached to food and agriculture; instead of thinking about seed and farms and tractors, we should be thinking about robots and drones and science and technology.” There will certainly always be a place for the top-of-mind elements of agriculture, but as the industry continues to progress, it’s plain to see that agriculture is steeped in technology and scientific advancement.
If you are active in agricultural programs and education while attending high school or college, you likely have some very valuable experience and honors under your belt! But is it okay to put that on a resume to share with employers? In most cases, most certainly. Agricultural employers will want to know if you have relevant association experience. It also may serve as a source of connection if your potential employer was involved in these programs as well. Learn how and when to properly include association experience on your resume.
Association experience is helpful to include on your resume when you have been actively involved in an organization and have achieved multiple honors or gained highly valuable and exemplary experience relevant to the job you are applying for. If you have served as a State FFA Vice President, include that on your resume. If you earned the American FFA degree, include that on your resume. If you have taken part in an AFA Leader Institute, include that on your resume.
AgCareers.com has employed several interns over the nearly 20 years in business as well as numerous campus ambassadors throughout North America during the duration of the AgCareers.com Campus Ambassador program. We caught up with four former interns and campus ambassadors to hear how their time with AgCareers.com impacted their professional careers and what they’re doing today.
How did your position with AgCareers.com aid you in your professional development?
Being an AgCareers.com ambassador helped me understand the importance of networking and expanding your professional circle. It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone and to avoid the risk of putting yourself out there, but nothing magical happens in this safe space. As an ambassador, I tapped into my network and grew my connections from the opportunities those connections provided. Working with new students, faculty and industry professionals exposed me to different ways of thinking and opened my eyes to opportunities I never knew existed. I would not have had the courage (or network) to pursue a career so different from what I had planned for without being a part of the AgCareers.com ambassador program.
Have you thought about pursuing advanced education in agriculture but just haven’t had the time or accessibility? You may have heard it said that the master’s degree is the new bachelor’s. With agribusiness constantly advancing and employees seeking advancements in their careers, a master’s degree or an advanced certificate of some kind is growing increasingly attractive to both employers and businesses. But what institutions do you consider for this kind of education? What college will have your specific needs? And how can you pursue that kind of education without leaving your current job? The answer to these questions can be found in AgCareers.com’s University Partners. In this program for distance education, you’ll find six online master’s programs in agriculture that are both highly respected and highly effective. Take a closer look:
New to the AgCareers.com team is Rachael Powell who serves as the Data Analyst – HR Solutions. Rachael has been with AgCareers.com for two months and works from the Clinton, North Carolina office.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with AgCareers.com?
So far some of the projects I have worked on are the National Pork Board Compensation and HR Practices Report and the Agribusiness HR Review. My other main task will be to aid in the completion of the Compensation Benchmark Review.
What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?
I enjoy that I get to help compile information that will help ag companies throughout North America make more informed decisions.
What advice would you give to job seekers using AgCareers.com for the first time?
There are over 5,000 jobs posted on AgCareers.com. Take the time to diligently think about what would be the best career move. Tailor your resume so that it speaks to the strengths you possess that employers are looking for. If you need help, browse through the many resources listed under the job seeker tab.
Jennifer Badger works as Agricultural Marketing Specialist for the South Carolina Department of Agriculture in Columbia. She has been in this role for nearly a year, but she has been working in agricultural marketing since August 2012. In this interview, she shares a bit about her career path as well as advice for young ag marketing professionals.
What made you interested in this career path?
I became interested in this career path in high school while taking marketing and agricultural vocational classes. I was very involved at my local Brevard, NC FFA chapter so upon graduation I left to study Agricultural Business Management at North Carolina State University. Marketing came more naturally to me than accounting or economics, which were also parts of my business degree, but that fact coupled with my involvement on the yearbook staff at the high school and collegiate levels, I just enjoy the communication and marketing side of ag business more. These subjects along with agricultural science classes are all very important to my current job, but I really enjoy the personal connections that ag marketing establishes.
You’ve likely heard the saying that finding a job is a job in itself, right? Well if you utilize AgCareers.com, we cut out some of that legwork for you. Here are the best AgCareers.com tools for busy job seekers.
Advanced Search: Tired of job search engines that don’t offer criteria specific enough to the exact type of job you’re looking for? AgCareers.com’s Advanced Search option allows you to choose from criteria including industry sector, industry type, career type, years’ experience required, country, region, state or province, and more. Visit AgCareers.com and utilize the advanced search option next time you visit.