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AG Seniors attend spring 2014 College to Careers Conference

Lori Wilson from Cobb-Vantress

Friday, April 11, 2014, Eastern’s Department of Agriculture hosted the annual spring College to Careers Conference for seniors.

Shortly after check-in, seniors made their way into a classroom for a presentation from Lorrie West, regional human resource manager, Cobb-Vantress. West provided the assembled students with a summary of best practices on how to increase their chances of success during an interview.

During the presentation West placed emphasis on making positive first impressions which would have lasting effects throughout the process, making it much easier on the candidate in the long run.

She also pointed out that market research has concluded that attitude is the top area candidates are judged on, followed closely by appearance and communication skills, leaving only a small emphasis on actual job qualifications.

She then shifted focus to what candidates need to know prior to their interview. More specifically, candidates should know themselves as well as information about the company to include the number of employees, their competitors, clients, and the latest news featuring the company.

“Concentrate on what you can specifically do for the employer,” said West, offering one last helpful bit of information to conclude the presentation.

Following this presentation, the Department of Agriculture presented Greg Harris with the Distinguished Alumnus award. Harris, a Madison County native graduated from EKU in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a minor in Business.

Harris is a 3rd generation farmer, who began his working from the ground up, eventually taking over his share of ownership in the family business. He is heavily involved with the American Farm Bureau Federation as well as chair of the Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee.

“If you want to be happy in this industry, don’t just look for a nine-to-five job,” remarked Harris after receiving the award.

After a short break students reconvened for a panel discussion comprised of four Eastern alumni working in the agriculture industry.

This forum allowed for students and faculty to engage the panelist with a number of questions and concerns. Though they each offered their own responses and recommendation, students were left with a wide range of takeaways to use in the transition into their professional careers:

  • Always look to improve upon traditional methods in the industry.
  • Don’t get discouraged; take opportunities when they are presented.
  • Don’t be afraid to pursue opportunities outside of a desired area.
  • Challenge yourself in coursework. Don’t take courses for easy GPA boost.
  • Sell yourself/work ethic.
  • Build your network; attend conventions.
  • Never stop learning.
  • You’re never too old to pursue your passions.
  • You’re never too young to make an impact. Be confident.

After final comments, the panelists, students and faculty were escorted to the atrium for a catered luncheon where the seniors were granted one more opportunity to engage these professionals before the conference concluded.

Many thanks to the Panelists

  • Patrick Allen, UK Extension
  • Greg Harris, American Farm Bureau Federation, Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee
  • Nathaniel Keith, Production Manager, Cal-Maine
  • Lorrie West, Regional Human Resource Manager, Cobb-Vantress

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- written by Andrew J. Stofleth, Student Assistant
EKU College of Business and Technology

Published on April 11, 2014

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