Working a Career Fair

Career Services connects students with employers

It’s no secret that jobs are hard to get in what has been called the Great Recession.  To help CAFNR graduates set off on their best career path, CAFNR Career Services holds a number of training sessions, workshops and events during the year.

These can include how to dress for success, network, avoid job search mistakes, prepare for an interview, negotiate a job offer and write a thank you note.

These efforts also include face-to-face meetings with potential employers through career fairs. The most recent fair was a Hospitality, Service & Entertainment Career Fair March 7.

“One of our goals is to make sure that we provide career and professional development opportunities for the diversity of majors we have in the College,” said Stephanie Chipman, director of CAFNR Career Services.  “One way we do this is by providing two unique career fairs during the school year.  The fair this spring certainly has a different focus than the one in the fall.”

“Professional development has become a part of the CAFNR culture,” Chipman said. “We work closely with faculty, staff, alumni and industry to have the most current advice, opportunities, speakers and mentors at the ready for students. We help our industry partners find the best ways to connect with students and faculty to share information about their company and job opportunities.”

An Opportunity to Explore

An important point for students to remember is that while they are focused on specific teaching in their major, career opportunities are available in many related fields. Career Fairs give opportunities for students to explore these other opportunities, allowing the students to evaluate different corporate cultures and checking into long-term career growth.

“Job searches need not be related to the major,” Chipman said. “In most cases, your major makes up only a small portion of what you do. For example, an agricultural economics major could pursue a career in policy, sales or merchandising.”

Despite difficult economic conditions, Chipman said Career Services has sustained a consistently high level of support from private and corporate donors, who account for most of its program funding.

Part of a Larger Effort

In addition to career fairs, CAFNR offers academic courses during the semester specifically to help students with the job-search and interview processes. Now in its third year, Agriculture 2115 covers resume-building, interviewing and other skills that students will utilize throughout their professional lives.

Career Services also provides workshops and online resources to help with resume writing, salary negotiations and networking; career days where recruiters are brought in to meet with students in an open setting; presentations by industry leaders on campus; tours where students visit employers; a step-by-step online plan for individual professional and personal development; and links to job and internship opportunities on

“We don’t want to only help students get their first job, but to build a life-long career plan,” Chipman said.

“CAFNR and Mizzou have a reputation for high-quality students who are exceptional in a variety of fields,” Chipman continued.  “Many employers look to Mizzou first for new employees. Events like the Spring Career Fair produce outstanding results for these companies, who can develop long-term relationships with the College.”