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Letter to the editor

CAFES is active participant in Career Fair

October 24, 2013

I read with interest the editorial in the Student Voice published on Oct. 18, 2013. This is my eighth year at UWRF as Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES), and the eighth time reading a similar discussion somewhere in the Student Voice regarding complaints about the lack of opportunities and interest outside of “agriculture” at the Career Fair.

The UWRF Career Fair grew out of what was originally a CAFES-led event. There is a long history of involvement by several companies and it did not happen overnight. Further, the fact that these companies choose to come back annually is not coincidence nor without effort on our part.

Collectively, CAFES faculty, staff and students work hard to make meaningful connections within the industry and facilitate internships and other relevant work experiences that ultimately lead to placement of our graduates. While a final job after graduation can be one goal, we know that the true value in events like the Career Fair is in making an initial connection and getting yourself known.

The editorial mentioned our Agricultural Business and Marketing Society student organization and its facilitation for several years now of a gathering the evening before the Career Fair for employers coming into town early. It is a time for students and recruiters to meet and share refreshments in a less hectic and more relaxed setting. Yes, it is geared toward agriculture-related companies. Yes, it gives students an advantage the next day and beyond if they make connections. No, it is not an unfair advantage – others can similarly be proactive in this opportunity.

We believe companies come to recruit at UWRF because they see value in the programs and students they encounter. The demonstration of that value is something that extends beyond the responsibility of UWRF Career Services. Everyone has a role.

Dale Gallenberg
Dean
College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Studies