Professional dress and students nervously fidgeting with portfolios containing resumes could only mean one thing- the CAFNR Career Fair had finally arrived. Palms were sweaty, hopes were high and minds were racing as thoughts of future employment filled the brains of College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources students.
The Career Fair was held on Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the Reynolds Alumni Center on the MU campus. Companies and businesses set up booths to talk to students about summer internships or possible job opportunities. Many students attended the Career Fair and used this event to find potential jobs.
The Career Fair is an opportunity for students to experience what it’s like to prepare a resume and cover letter, build rapport with potential employers and secure an interview that could lead to an internship or job. Building rapport is important when you send in resumes. Large companies often receive up to 2,000 resumes for a job opening, and then must cut that number down to only a few. Making a personal connection with the people who make those initial decisions can help move your name up on the list and give you an advantage over other people competing for the same job.
“When kids apply online, we tend to procrastinate,” said Megan Couch, an MU sophomore studying agricultural economics. “With the Career Fair we can build our self-confidence and feel more secure when we talk to employers.”
Peer career coaches were available at the Fair to guide students and calm nerves.
“Basically I help correspond with students and make sure they are confident about coming into the Career Fair,” said Shannon Yokley, a sophomore at MU studying science and agricultural journalism and CAFNR peer career coach. “I also correspond with businesses making sure they know where to go as we’re setting up booths.”
Companies from across the Midwest set up booths at the event in search of future employees. Some of the companies represented included Monsanto, Disney World, FCS Financial, Osborn-Barr and the Airport Hilton Hotel in St. Louis.
“I’m very excited to be here and see the interest and enthusiasm from the students here,” said Makele Ndessokia, the human resources director for the Missouri Department of Agriculture. “The word is out about agriculture and it’s an important area. We’re always looking for great talent and we see great potential here.”