As the 2015 AgCareers.com Ag & Food HR Roundtable quickly approaches and the number of registrants continues to grow, it is exciting to see new names listed but also remarkable how many familiar faces attend the event each year. It speaks to the lasting impact and benefits the conference has on its repeat attendees. One such attendee has been to all 12 Roundtable events since 2002 and has her place secured for the 2015 event. Emily Gray, Director of Student Services at the University of Tennessee College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, took a few moments to speak with me about why she has made a point to attend each Roundtable and the impact that it has on her work. She is pictured to the left with AgCareers.com President Eric Spell at the 2012 Roundtable event hosted by Tyson Foods.
Q: Why do you continue to attend the event? What keeps you returning?
A: The networking opportunities are tremendous. The combination of colleagues from other career services offices and agricultural colleges has always been great. I love making contact with employers I might not otherwise have contact with to promote our students. I find a lot of the employers have not traditionally recruited at the University of Tennessee and I find that employers will consider recruiting our students once we have visited with one another.
Q: Is there an especially memorable session or network meeting that you have had at a previous Roundtable?
A: I always enjoy the Beg, Borrow and Share sessions that we have on the University Track. I always come out of there with some new ideas and best practices. I enjoy the Table Topics as well during the breakfasts where we share, again, good ideas.
Q: What do you plan to get out of this upcoming 2015 Roundtable event? What is your purpose for attending?
A: I look forward to having an opportunity to promote our students to potential employers and gaining more insight into things like what the workforce environment will be like coming up as well as the great opportunities for our agricultural research and environmental science students. I enjoy finding new creative ideas for career services events and ways to better serve our students.
Q: Which session of the 2015 Roundtable event are you most looking forward to?
A: “The Workforce Landscape: A C-Suite Perspective” by panelists from Kansas State University, Monsanto and Cobb-Vantress. Getting a perspective from employers is always helpful.
As a first-time attendee to the Roundtable this year, I am looking forward to connecting with Emily as well as other faithful attendees who enjoy the event’s insights and networking year after year. Check back to Talent Harvest in August at the wrap of the 2015 Roundtable to read about Emily’s reactions to this year’s event as well as my own insights as a first-time attendee.
It’s not too late to secure your own spot at the 2015 Ag & Food HR Roundtable. Visit our Roundtable event site to read about this year’s topics and register.