ASA Career Forum – UCD Ag. and Food final year undergraduates
Want to learn more about how to start your career once degree is secured?
- Clodagh Kavanagh, Darley Flying Start
- Fergal Maguire, Teagasc
- Elaine Fenton, Alltech
- Ed Henrick, SONRU
Speaker Presentations: (Click on name to view or download)
Photos from the event:
Agricultural students cautioned about impact of social media on career
ASA career forum at UCD advises students on maximising their recruitment potential
4th November 2015: The Agricultural Science Association (ASA) this week held its annual career forum for final year undergraduate agricultural and food science students at UCD. Students attending the event heard about the importance of managing their personal “digital brand” when seeking employment. They also received practical career advice on how to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, options for postgraduate studies and new interview techniques, including video.
Speakers at the forum were all former agricultural science students now working in the industry, including: Neil Keane, ASA President;Clodagh Kavanagh, General Manager, Darley Flying Start; Elaine Fenton, Alltech; Ed Hendrick, CEO of Sonru; and Fergal Maguire, Teagasc.
A strong theme at this year’s event was the role online information plays in the recruitment process. Neil Keane, ASA President said,“When I graduated 15 years ago, social media simply was not an issue. For students and graduates today however, it is crucial to understand that our presence on online networks can distort reality and the impression you are giving may not always reflect the hard work and commitment you demonstrate in real life”.
Clodagh Kavanagh, General Manager of Darley Flying Start added, “It is a fact today that our “digital brand” often preceeds us. Everyone should take some time to google themselves to ensure that you are always presenting the best possible impression online. A good start is to learn how to make the most of the privacy settings on Facebook and other social media channels”.
A number of the speakers also encouraged students to welcome any available mentoring opportunities available to them with Clodagh Kavanagh advising students to “aim really high, ask for help and get a mentor.”
Fergal Maguire, Walsh Fellow at Teagasc recommended seeking help from professionals in preparing for interviews, a process which helped him to secure a job in Ballyhaise College as an Agricultural Development Officer. He also advised students “to always ask questions as there is a lot to learn!”
Elaine Fenton, a recent graduate from 2014, now working in sales with global animal nutrition company, Alltech discussed how she believes that there is always more which can be learned. She spoke about how the ASA has been a great support to her in a mentoring capacity through the mock-interview process, in facilitating networking at events such as the annual ASA conference, allowing her to meet with new contacts and giving access to new information on study tours.
The group also heard from Ed Hendrick, owner and CEO of Sonru. Originally from a dairy farm in Wexford, he completed his B.Agr.Sc degree in 2004 where he specialised in Agribusiness and Rural Development. He worked in a number of jobs before diversifying to set up the innovative video interviewing business called Sonru. Ed offered the students some practical advice for interviewing via video, which has become increasingly popular as it removes all geographical boundaries from the recruitment process.
Student ASA Membership
Almost 100 final year Agriculture and Food Students from UCD joined the ASA this year. A student membership rate is available to undergraduates currently completing a Level 8 degree in agricultural, horticultural, forestry, environmental and food science. As part of the membership package, students can avail of mentoring with senior ASA members, attend ASA networking events and information tours as well as avail of attractive special offers. Students can apply for discounted membership via www.asaireland.ie.