CAFNR and Arts & Science Fall Career Fair breaks attendance records

After record-breaking student attendance at the Spring 2023 Career Fair, the Fall Career Fair broke both the student and employer attendance records.

A student talks to employers at the Career Fair.

On Oct. 4, 1,541 students gathered in Brewer Fieldhouse to network with 316 employer representatives at the Fall CAFNR and Arts & Science Career Fair. This record-breaking student attendance was good news for both the students and the employers.

“Mizzou is a great place to get a lot of culturally diverse people, who have that diversity of agricultural experience that we look for within Hormel foods,” said Stephen Kroeger, Corporate Manager for Quality and Process Control at Hormel Foods.

The career fair featured employers interested in all majors and interests in CAFNR, from private industry to public and from sales to science.

“This is one of the biggest career fairs that we do, and we get the most interaction with students here,” said Aarick Roberto, talent acquisition specialist with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. “CAFNR is very specialized, and it lines up exactly with the work that we’re doing.”

For many employers, meeting students is an important part of learning about their incoming work force and how their company can welcome new talent.

Thirteen employers conducted interviews on campus the next day, but even if students aren’t looking for an internship or job yet, the career fair experience is still valuable.

“Whether you’re looking for an internship or not, it’s beneficial to come here and be very active and very social and build your network,” said Isaac Rhode, a junior agriculture major.

Many employers at the CAFNR Career Fair advertise career growth opportunities to students of any age.

“We have a lot of team members, myself included, who started as interns and worked their way up,” said Branson Albertson, CAFNR alum and assistant director of rooms at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. “There’s a lot of upward opportunity and room to grow.”

“We love finding students coming out of agriculture programs that are well prepared for real work and the workplace,” said Crystal Steen, vice president for culture and learning at Simmons Foods. “We have a great partnership with Mizzou and CAFNR.”

For CAFNR students who might be looking for job opportunities with a different path, the career fair is still a great networking opportunity.

“I think I’m on a little different trajectory, because I do want to teach after graduation, but you’ll never be with this many employers at one time ever again,” said Emily Hoyt, junior agricultural education – teacher certification major. “I can build a network here with industry leaders to connect them with future students and see what else is out there in case something piques my interest.”

The career fair is another example of CAFNR’s supportive alumni network as well.

“Mizzou and CAFNR have very high performing students,” said Krista Koranda, organizational readiness coordinator with Bayer. “As an alum, I love to come back to campus and talk to students about the opportunities they could have with Bayer, just like I had.”

The Spring 2023 CAFNR and Arts & Science Career Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in the MU Rec Center.

See more photos from the career fair here: