Of the 7,658 students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 55 percent are female. As a College, we are continuing to break the stereotype that agriculture and life sciences are male-dominated disciplines. Considering females now make up the majority, the College understands the importance of recognizing the changing needs of our student population. This year, Texas A&M is celebrating “50 Years of Inclusion” by recognizing the contributions and accomplishments of our University’s diverse community. In an effort to celebrate the College’s inclusion of females, we hosted the 2013 College of Agriculture and Life Science Women’s Summit for our female undergraduate and graduate students on Sept. 18.
“As a College, we are committed to providing experiences, resources, training and curriculum that propel our students into creating the innovation needed to resolve challenging societal issues,” Dr. Danielle Harris, assistant dean for student success and coordinator of the Women’s Summit, said. “This event is one of a series of high impact experiences that we hope our students will use in their toolkit for success.”
With the help of the Career Center and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Coordinator, Jennifer Ann Smith, the Women’s Summit focused on preparing our female students for career fairs, the job search, and life after college. Speakers covered topics such as best practices for marketing yourself, networking etiquette, and dressing for success in the workplace. There was also a networking hour that gave attendees the opportunity to mingle with female professionals from both the University and industry.
Alicia Smith, a freshman animal science major and Women’s Summit attendee, said, “the speakers were all wonderful and relevant, and the networking time afterward was invaluable.”
Another attendee, senior agricultural leadership and development major Jaclyn Thayer, noted that “the College career fair, ACE Day, is coming up soon and I wanted to do everything possible to make a good impression to potential employers. I knew this event would help me achieve that.”
Both employers and students were thankful for this experience to network and discuss available opportunities. “It is my understanding that one young woman was fortunate enough to walk away with a serious job lead so we wish her luck with that,” Dr. Harris said. “But most importantly, this event provided a venue for students, regardless of program, to see women like themselves in leadership roles throughout the University and the College.”