Industry events: high impact when prospective graduates engage with roleplayers
AgriCAREERConnect prides itself in ensuring that the “industry meets fresh minds”. This has a crucial role in ensuring that industry/company representatives communicate its expectations with prospective graduates. During previous AgriCAREERConnect events, companies had representatives which introduced the company and proceeded to speak about their career journeys. The prospective students then asked questions and engaged with the company representatives. However, for the year 2023, AgriCAREERConnect format has been changed. The new format gives prospective graduates an opportunity to attend industry related events, for the duration of the event.
There are several benefits of this format. For companies, they get to interact with students in person in as well as in a social setting. This enables them to witness the character of the students, whether it will be well fitted for the specific company culture. Secondly, the company representatives present at the specific event get to interact and introduce the student to different roles available at the company. This is beneficial for both the company and the student and can spark the student’s interest in the company and industry.
The students benefitted greatly from this format and it was a great opportunity for students to network and engage with prospective employees. Additionally, considering that most of the students who attended the Summit are Citrus Academy bursary students, and are funded by the Citrus Academy and Agriseta, this will ensure that the industry increases the uptake and retention rate of Citrus Academy bursary graduates in the citrus industry, and that the skills offered by graduates are not lost to other industries.
“I really enjoyed the Summit. I would never have thought that the whole industry literally comes together like that to plan and make decisions about the future of the industry. Besides being super interesting, it was amazing to see the amount of coordination and collaboration behind such a huge industry. I learnt a lot, I made many notes and much of the wisdom shared will stay with me when I enter the workspace and even just applying it to my studies and life in general. Also, I picked up some nuggets for research purposes since I’m doing my MSc in Agricultural Economics at the University of Pretoria.” – Tumelo Ramapela.