Penn State event to highlight careers in environment, ag engineering

University Park, Pa. -- Budding environmental engineers will learn about job opportunities when Penn State's Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering sponsors its annual Agricultural Systems Management, Biological Engineering and Environmental Resource Management Career Day program. The event will be held from noon until 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 4, in the Agricultural Engineering Building at Penn State's University Park campus.
 
The program will give both graduate and undergraduate students majoring in agricultural systems management, biological engineering and environmental resource management an opportunity to gain valuable career information. More than 25 businesses and organizations, ranging from engineering and financial companies to technology-based corporations, will participate.
 
While each organization offers the opportunity for students to network and seek employment, the primary goal behind the program is to learn, said Al Jarrett, professor of biological engineering and this year's program organizer.
 
"For students, this program is all about information," he said. "It's about focusing on opportunities and being exposed to the culture of employers in the working world. Students need to be looking ahead towards what's at the end of the pipeline."
 
With the recent economic downturn, the job market and the hiring process have become stagnant, Jarrett said. Aware of these possible hindrances, he reminds prospective business representatives for the program that the most important goal is not necessarily to hire, but to provide information and, ultimately, to network.
 
"We emphasize that the most important goal of our career day program is to provide information about each of the companies and organizations who participate. This is not your typical job fair. This is more about getting students in contact with people in the industry who eventually may have something to offer."
 
In the program's first session, company representatives will present information on consulting, out-of–the-ordinary career opportunities, and interviewing tips. Each presentation will focus on aiding students in their career searches and in the often daunting interview process.
 
The second session will allow students and company representatives to meet and to talk individually. This contact session, said Jarrett, is extremely important for both the students and for the companies involved.
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Last Updated February 02, 2010