A Message From the Dean - January 2021

Career Fair for undergraduate students in the ARC Pavilion on March 1, 2017.
Name tags used by UC Davis students at a 2017 career fair.

Career Season Begins Anew with a Virtual Flair

A year ago, the world looked very different for our students as they neared the completion of their degrees. They were finishing up winter quarter, looking forward to graduating in June, and reaching out to potential employers in preparation for that next step. The pandemic forced many of the students to adapt their expectations for the new ways of working while sheltering in place and maintaining social distance. Now more than ever, our bright, educated students need to connect with supportive and engaged employers.

Networking is essential to developing contacts that lead to good job opportunities. Fortunately, all UC Davis students have access to the resources of the Internship and Career Center. The ICC has pivoted in the last year to make its services available in the same way most of us have—virtually. Students are still able speak with career counselors and use the online resources and tools that can help them polish their resumes, find a job or internship and prepare them for interviews.

One employer in the food equipment business shared with us recently that his company hired a number of graduates in biological and agricultural engineering. These students are now rising through the ranks of management. The company is planning to expand the automation and service engineering sides of their business and is recruiting entry level positions, and they have reached out to us again because of their positive experience with our graduates. We hope that other employers will have similar experiences.

The campus is entering into “career season” with a number of virtual workshops and career fairs, where employers and our students will have a chance to interact with several companies and organizations. One event in particular is scheduled for February 10 and is called, “Diversity, belonging and inclusion at work.” Students will have an opportunity to meet with representatives from organizations committed to these principles, which may in turn lead to internships and careers. Representatives from a diverse group of employers will talk about how they welcome traditionally underrepresented populations and provide an inclusive place to work.

A real strength of the Aggie family is how interconnected we all are. Our alumni know they can return to UC Davis to find capable graduates to fill their needs for talented employees. You can find our alumni hard at work in a wide range of occupations in food and agriculture, environmental sciences, human and community development and many other areas. The ICC publishes several newsletters with career and internship opportunities focused specifically for students graduating from our college, and we welcome the posting of more prospects.

While last year was challenging, and we are still balancing the change brought about by the pandemic, this time has also provided us with so many great learning moments and the space for us to examine how we can adapt and engage in positive change. And most importantly, we continue to go about the business of research, teaching and outreach the Aggie way—with creativity, dedication and resilience. We are not defined by external circumstances but by the character and resolve we bring to life each day. That’s one of the things our students learn to nurture here and one of the reasons why UC Davis has the outstanding reputation it does in the world.

Our graduates are passionate about life and the upcoming future, and they will bring that enthusiasm into whatever career path they choose. We encourage our alumni and partners throughout California and beyond to keep that in mind as our students prepare to start their careers and eventually work for you and alongside you.

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