Thursday, 23 November 2017 13:43

Lethbridge College Agriculture students experience a night of networking

Written by  Demi Knight
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Agriculture science students at the Lethbridge College were given an opportunity to advance their learning at the Career Networking night.

On Nov. 7 in the Cousins Building at the college, students from the agriculture science department of the school came together for a networking night to talk to industry professionals, mingle with other students and learn more about life after school and future career paths.
“The night really gives students the opportunity to get first hand knowledge from industry professionals that are living and breathing it right now,” explained Megan Hebert, Student Employment and Professional Development Coordinator at Lethbridge College. “It also gives them soft skills that they will need in the future that maybe they didn’t think are important to learn and that maybe they didn’t know they might need."
For the third year now, Student employment and professional development have hosted this career networking night as an optional event for students within the agriculture sciences sector to attend, and many were eager to take advantage of it. In fact, although the event is strongly advised by many teachers to their students at the college, the voluntary night saw an impressive turnout of over half the people enroled in agriculture programs throughout the facility in attendance.
“I was very happy with turnout,” said Hebert. “We had 65 students come out voluntarily out of just over 100 students across all the agriculture programs at the college.”
With an evening that entailed refreshments, a mix and mingle and a Q and A session with a panel of industry professionals from government run and private companies to small businesses, important lessons were taught to all in attendance.  Through these means students were given the opportunity to learn more about their chosen career paths by submitting questions, while hearing success stories and advice on how to reach for employment after school that you can’t find on the internet. 
However, since this is only the third time the event has been held, Hebert says the annual evening is still a work in progress and that it wasn’t always this successful.
“This was the third year we’ve held this networking night and the format has changed a lot over the years.”
With an initial plan to host an evening that included all the environmental science programs at once, student employment and professional development decided there were far too many students to cater to in this way.
However, during the second event, after separating the sciences and creating a night that catered solely to agriculture students, Hebert added the night mostly consisted of three hours of presentations from industry professionals many students weren’t fully engaged with.
On their third attempt, Hebert said with excitement they believed to have found a better blend of mixing and teaching and this was the most successful event yet.
“Since students weren’t fully engaged last year, we decided to do a more inclusive night this year that would get the students more involved and excited,” added Hebert. “I actually sent out a survey to the students the day after the event to get feedback. We had 25 students respond in one day which is great, and so far, the feedback has been very positive.”

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