The Bond Life Sciences Center was filled on Sept. 21 with students eager to learn about internship possibilities at the CAFNR Internship Fair.
While at the fair, students were encouraged to sit down and talk to juniors and seniors about their experiences as interns at a variety of agricultural companies; this is known as a peer-to-peer model. Some of the companies represented by the students were Agri Beef Co., Cargill, Endangered Wolf Center, FCS Financial, MFA, Monsanto Co., and Osborn Barr.
“We like the internship fair because it is upperclassmen who are excited about their summer experience, sharing their knowledge with students who might not yet have internship experience,” said Stephanie Chipman, director of Career Services for CAFNR.
Students were able to get one-on-one advice on how to apply, explanations on what the internships are like and what to expect, as well as information on who to contact for more information.
“It is interesting that you can sit down with people and ask about their own experiences,” said Kristin Tosie, an MU junior majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife.
Tosie also said she liked the internship fair because students can gear questions toward peers rather than an employer.
“We love the idea of Mizzou students helping Mizzou students to be successful,” Chipman said.
Josie Mullen, an intern for Dickerson Park Zoo said she felt the internship fair was a great way for students to gain networking skills. Networking opportunities are not the only aspects emphasized at the internship fair, however. Students can also gain incredible hands-on experience through these internships.
“If you want to be a zookeeper, then it is really important that you get a lot of experience before you go into it,” Mullen said.
The goal for the internship fair is for students to come away prepared to make a more noticeable introduction to employers at the CAFNR Career Day later in September. Chipman said that attending the CAFNR Internship Fair can increase a student’s chances of landing an internship in the future.
An aspect of the CAFNR Internship Fair some students found appealing is the casual and less intimidating atmosphere.
“It is a little less threatening and formal than the career fair, Chipman said. “Students ask the upperclassmen real questions that they might be afraid to ask the employers at the Career Fair.”
The event ended with more confident students, casual conversation, and cookies to commend everyone on a job well done.