Career exploration becomes career advice

Career exploration becomes career advice

Before he even stepped on campus, Ross Cady (agricultural business, international agriculture) was focused on the end result of his college career – getting a job. As a first generation student from Illinois, he knew Iowa State was the place to learn about the industry he was passionate about, agriculture. Knowing that the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) could boast that 98% of students were fully employed or in professional school within six (6) months of graduation was all he needed to see to seal the deal.

 

As a new student, Ross took advantage of meaningful experiences for his resume and attended the career fair hosted by CALS Career Services with 250 companies. After internships at places like Bayer Crop Science, he was ready to help make sure others had the same kind of help. In Agricultural Business Club, Ross chaired the committee that hosted a mixer event before the Career Fair to help students network with employers and he was another set of eyes on resumes of his fellow Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity members to make sure they were as perfect as possible. In the end, he not only helped his peers, but Ross continued to add to his own resume. He practiced editing skills, networking, project management, problem solving, and public speaking.

 

CALS Career Services is available for resume review, interview preparation, connections to companies, and advice on job or internship offers. Clubs, organizations, and even classes, also offer opportunities to review resumes and connections with alumni in the industry.  Working together, CALS  Career Services teaming up with students like Ross create a network to help you find that all-important first job.

A blooming future

A blooming future

For future business owner Grace Reineke (horticulture), an internship has to be more than just the work. So she was very excited when an internship at Red Granite Farm offered her not only a great learning experience in assisting customers with plant or produce purchases and daily maintenance of perennials, but also a mentor in owner Nicole Jonas (’02, horticulture) to teach her skills in ornamental horticulture and food crop production.

Grace was able to build on knowledge learned in an Iowa State class on herbaceous ornamental plants and time as an undergraduate researcher in a vegetable production lab during her internship. The varied operation at Red Granite Farm allowed Grace to learn about different perennials and how to arrange them in landscapes as well as tips when it comes to advising customers and marketing different plants. One of the best parts – seeing a plant start out as a tiny seedling and with some nurturing and time, literally see it turn into a beautiful accent in a landscape or produce delicious fruit or vegetables. This internship proved what Grace already guessed, that horticulture is all around, from the food we eat to the lawn and landscape in the yard.

Faculty, staff, and alumni are ready to help students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) innovate to reach their goals. You can find them serving as mentors in the classroom, clubs, the laboratory, and in internships to help make sure you are ready for your next adventure.

Seeing the future of crop production

Seeing the future of crop production

Jarrett Stoner (agronomy) is one of those people always thinking about the future, specifically the future of crop production. In every class and activity, Jarrett is thinking about how that information could influence the future. His first look into the future comes through participating in Agronomy Club where he can hear from guest speakers in the industry, learn about different opportunities in agronomy, and network with peers who would become professionals ahead of him.

An internship as an Agronomy Research Plot Technician with WinField United provided Jarrett a view of the ways research is conducted and how the data is made easily available to producers through a website called Answer Plot. As part of the internship, Jarrett could assist with planting, collecting soil and tissue samples, spray chemical trials, conduct stand count, and assist with general maintenance of the WinField Answer Plots. If the future is technology for producers to view data, Jarrett has a sneak peek.

Internships are a great way for students to see how concepts from textbooks work in the industry. Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) obtain internships by attending career fairs, through clubs, and even from faculty connections.

Career building blocks

Career building blocks

It takes more than a winning personality to be good at sales. That’s why Trentin Moeller (agricultural business) is getting as many internships and leadership experiences as he possibly can while he is a student. Whether serving as Logistics Co-Chair on the Homecoming Central Committee or as Agronomy Intern at Hefty Seed Company, each experience builds upon one another to provide a strong foundation to draw upon for a career in seed and crop protection sales.

At his internship, Trentin expected to grow his knowledge in agronomy, which he did learning about consistent research programs through the whole growing season and evaluating fields, but he didn’t necessarily expect to practice relationship building. Serving on Homecoming Central, Trentin was on the front lines creating relationships communicating with volunteers who helped execute plans and with different offices on campus or community vendors to make everything run smoothly. Those skills spilled into Trentin’s internship while he was interacting and strengthening relationships with producers.

Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) don’t just learn in the classroom. Other out of classroom activities like clubs, undergraduate research, and internships offer even more skill development, making students ready to take on the world.

Creating a set of diverse experiences

Creating a set of diverse experiences

Belinda Heckman (global resource systems, dietetics) is interested in almost everything. She has literally taken her adventure around the world and applies her background in production agriculture to the new things she sees to form a comprehensive picture of food systems. In fact, it was a semester abroad program along the Nile in Uganda, Africa, working with Amaranth and other pseudo cereals, that most prepared her for her latest internship with Plant Genetic Resource Aide Organization: NCRPIS (North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station).

In this internship, Belinda is building on the knowledge from her time in Uganda but through the viewpoint of research. She is learning about research methods, genetic diversity preservation, and production of nutritionally dense foods. Though Belinda’s primary task is helping manage production of seed on the Pseudo cereal crew at a USDA Seed Bank, she is also reading literature, doing mini experiments, and completing tasks in the right way the first time to prevent future issues. All these skills are providing Belinda a foundation to serve the community through nutrition.

Everything is a learning experience for students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Students apply what they have learned in class to a variety of settings that help them refine their career path and help them prepare to enter the workforce.

The little wildlife vet

The little wildlife vet

As a kid, Carlos Franco (animal ecology) thought that veterinarians just dealt with cats and dogs. It made sense to him because that is what he saw. He asked neighbors to baby-sit their pets and walked or played with rescues at the shelter, which earned him the nickname “the little vet” from his family. Even though he liked companion animals, he was drawn to wildlife documentaries on the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet,  and chased after Coqui, a native toad from Puerto Rico, to show his parents before releasing it into the wild again.

When Carlos came to Iowa State, he took classes on everything from basic handling of livestock to the behaviors of animals which will help him better read his animal patients and other animals in the wild.  Though he has taken classes at Iowa State to learn about all the animals he loves, it is a research methods class that captured his attention. In fact, that class opened Carlos’s eyes to the value of research and put him on the path to a job as a research assistant at Iowa State to a faculty member at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) take classes from the people who wrote the textbook and have the chance to be student researchers in the lab. As a job, volunteer, or in a program like Science With Practice, students learn just how important research is to their knowledge of the world.

Experience Global Situations Firsthand, Study Abroad

Experience Global Situations Firsthand, Study Abroad

Danielle Youngblut (agricultural business, advertising) had the opportunity to travel to Europe during high school and was interested in looking an opportunity to return when she arrived at Iowa State.

Danielle decided that she would participate in a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Study Abroad program to the United Kingdom. The 2-week Brexit program allowed Danielle to travel to the United Kingdom during a time that will go down in history. Through this study abroad experience, Danielle was able to personally experience the complicated situation and observe the opinions an uncertainty of the locals while also having the opportunity to connect with peers and create personal bonds and memories that will last a lifetime.

Study abroad offers hands-on learning experiences that allow students to gain cross-cultural skills while learning about current economic situations. Students that study abroad gain the ability to become global citizens by stepping out of their comfort zone and learning how to become more independent and resourceful.

Study Abroad, Break Perceived Notions

Study Abroad, Break Perceived Notions

Marcus Jansen (Horticulture) a native to Illinois always wanted to be actively involved in different clubs and organizations during his time at Iowa State University. One unique opportunity that interested Marcus was to participate in an international experience.

Marcus participated in several study abroad opportunities to Ireland and Ecuador that allowed him to be immersed in different cultures, visit popular landmarks and experience how different production systems operated around the world. Marcus’s study abroad experiences allowed him to gain a new outlook on different parts of the world as he realized that you don’t get to break perceived notions until you are there and experience the differences first-hand.

Study abroad provides an array of opportunities for students depending on their comfort level, interest and time preference for traveling. Visit the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Study Abroad Office website or stop by 0018 Curtiss Hall to learn more all the great opportunities available to students!

Standout with a study abroad

Standout with a study abroad

Amanda Gorzney (agricultural communications, global resource systems) has always had a passion for a global career helping others.

Arriving at Iowa State, Amanda learned about a service learning opportunity in the U.S. Virgin Islands that would allow her to be immersed in another culture while learning about the island’s rich heritage, that is still present today. The experiences she embarked on during her study abroad opportunity became a major talking point for Amanda, as it stands out on her résumé and pushes her to think outside of the box during classroom discussions. Her service learning opportunity reminded Amanda to be open to new experiences and activities while respecting the different cultures around the world.

Study abroad experiences help students standout professionally during internship or job interviews. Employers appreciate a student’s ability to step-out of their comfort zone and experience different cultures, develop valuable skills while building their resume. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Study Abroad Office even provides a workshop for students to learn how to include a study abroad experience on their resume and when talking with potential employers.

Conquering Fears, First-time International Traveler

Conquering Fears, First-time International Traveler

Rachel Crowley (Food Science and Human Nutrition) arrived at Iowa State University with limited domestic and no previous international travel experiences.

Through an undergraduate program, Rachel learned about a short-term study abroad opportunity that would best fit her limited travel experience. While abroad, Rachel was able to apply what she learned in the classroom while comparing and contrasting food storage and food preservation methods in France with those in the United States. On a personal level, Rachel was able to make connections worldwide with upperclassmen, dietetic interns and even international business owners on the travel course, allowing her to expand her knowledge around food science and human nutrition while also learning about future educational and career paths in her field of study.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Study Abroad Office provides assistance to students interested in studying abroad, but have limited domestic or international travel experiences. Through a short-term travel course, students participate in a pre-departure orientation that allows them to better prepare for their travel, enhance their knowledge of the country that they will be visiting and meet the other students and leaders that will also be traveling with them.