UNIVERSITY PARK – The recession-impaired economy may have diminished recruitment for many employers, but companies still need to identify young talent and fill their leadership pipelines. Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will offer an opportunity for ag-industry employers to meet talented students at its Ag Career Day, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the Bryce Jordan Center.
“Ag Career Day gives agricultural businesses the chance to recruit and begin interviewing students for internships and full-time career positions,” said Debbie McAllister, coordinator of the college’s Career and Internship Initiative. “Our college offers academic majors across several diverse disciplines of agricultural and life sciences. Ag Career Day is the perfect opportunity to get connected with our students, faculty and staff. Last year, we saw a lot of traffic, with well over 500 students in attendance.”
McAllister said up to 50 percent of the workforce at some agribusiness employers will be eligible for retirement in the next two years. Squeezed by limited hiring and reduced budgets, companies are using career days and internships to maintain their presence on campus.
“In many cases, internships have become extended job interviews, allowing employers to see if an individual is a successful fit with their company,” she said. “Getting on campus enables them to build relationships and identify high-caliber students year after year. They also can educate younger students about the career opportunities in their field. It’s never too early to start networking.”
McAllister said employers can conduct interviews on campus after career day. Companies also may want to consider speaking to a class or student club to increase their exposure.
The College of Agricultural Sciences has placed a new focus on fostering connections between students and potential employers through the Career and Internship Initiative. The initiative was designed to enrich undergraduate education by engaging students in professional experiences in addition to building relationships with potential employers.
Traditionally, representatives from more than 60 industry employers from across the country attend Ag Career Day each year. Companies scheduled to appear this year include GROWMARK Inc., Northeast Farm Credit, Eichenlaub Inc., Davis Landscaping Inc., the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Dow AgroSciences, Turkey Hill Dairy, Tyson Foods Inc., Genex Cooperative Inc., Agri-King Inc., AgChoice Farm Credit, Land O’Lakes Inc. and Charles River Laboratories.
For more information, visit here or contact Debbie McAllister at 814-865-7522.