We recently did an article about the value of internships for young agriculturalists pursuing careers in the agriculture industry. However, if you are an employer, what is your incentive to hire an intern?
Interns have the opportunity to add value to any company, but this is especially true for agriculture. Young agriculturalists don’t fit the mold of the typical millennial. They have chosen a career field and an industry they have a passion for, they want to learn from, and they want to work dedicatedly in. Therefore, in gaining an intern, you are gaining a piece of the next generation of agriculture to provide perspective, two working hands, a potential full-time employee, and a new wave of passion.
Times are changing and agriculture is forever evolving. College agriculture students are at the forefront of that evolution. So, even though interns are looking to learn from the employer, the employer can also learn a lot from the intern. The intern can inform an employer about advancing techniques, research, and technology in agriculture, but they can also provide perspective and input about how to reach this next generation as a consumer of agricultural products.
Internships provide employers with an opportunity to expand their workload and the company or operation as a whole. Interns can alleviate the workload for employer by taking over basic tasks, and that can leave the employer with more time and opportunity to work on projects that they wouldn’t otherwise have time for. The employer can also assess an intern’s skills by giving them the opportunity to work on projects that current full-time employees don’t have time for. As the communications intern for CalAgJobs, I have not only taken on some basic work tasks like social media posts and finding jobs and internships for the website, but I have also expanded the CalAgJobs’ brand to this blog and other social media platforms. In these times of small opportunity, an intern can provide value in ways that an employer had not anticipated.
Taking on an intern can serve as a trial-run and recruiting opportunity for a potential full-time employee. Internships that work well for both the employer and the intern can continue into a higher internship position, a longer internship duration, and even a permanent, well-trained employee. As an intern and college agriculture student, I can confidently tell you that we, as young agriculturalists, did not pursue careers in the agriculture industry to earn six-figure salaries or lots of vacation time. We did so because we have a passion for this industry and we would like to apply that passion toward our internships, our careers, and the businesses, operations, and organizations that we may work for.