About This Issue . . .
You should always be striving to set yourself apart from the competition, no matter if you’re a job seeker or a company. In this issue of The Animal Science Monitor, we explore various ways in which to accomplish that – from blogging to attending industry conferences to membership in an industry-related association. I hope that the month of June – as well as the first half of 2010 – has treated you well and that the remainder of the year brings you as much good fortune as possible. And of course, I also hope that you enjoy this issue of The ASM.
Connecting You: American Feed Industry Association
(By Matt Deutsch)
Welcome to the next installment of “Connecting You,” a series of articles within The Animal Science Monitor newsletter. “Connecting You” will showcase a number of associations within the world of animal science and animal nutrition.
One such organization will be highlighted each month, usually in the second issue of that month. Our goal is to promote the organization, its website, its mission within the industry, and its upcoming events. We believe that giving exposure to these organizations will prove to be beneficial not only for them, but also for you – our readers.
This month’s organization
The American Feed Industry Association (http://www.afia.org), which celebrated its centennial year in 2009.
The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) represents the total feed industry, as a key segment of the food chain, and member companies’ interests, with one industry leadership voice on matters involving federal/state legislation and regulation; keeps members informed of developments important to them; creates opportunities to network and to address common issues; and interacts with key stakeholders essential to the success of the feed and animal agricultural industries.
The AFIA hosts the largest animal feed trade show in the world, the International Feed Expo. The next expo will be held on Wednesday, January 26, through Friday, January 28, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga.
The AFIA also hosts the largest animal feed and pet food ingredient conference in the world, the Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference. The next conference will be held on Wednesday, March 2, through Friday, March 4, at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nev.
Check out the complete list of upcoming events with which the AFIA will be associated.
The AFIA makes four promises to companies that become members of the organization:
- Members will have a voice as part of the total feed industry association.
- The AFIA will provide expert legislative and regulatory leadership and representation.
- The AFIA will offer confidential individual staff expertise on demand.
- Members will have access to unparalleled member services.
For more information about these four promises, visit the AFIA website. To learn more about membership, contact Membership Director Sarah Novak at (703) 558-3574 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘The ASM Community’: How Blogging Can Help Your Career
(By Beth Hilson)
Periodically through the year, we’ll be publishing articles in our “ASM Community” series. These are articles dealing with social media, social networking, traditional networking, and other topics that will help our readers not only become more a part of the animal science and animal nutrition community, but also advance their careers.
In this issue of The ASM, I’ll be discussing the topic of blogging, quite possibly the oldest of the social media tools. It was around before Twitter and Facebook and is still going strong. But what are the rules, especially for job seekers? Can it help you? What’s the deal?
A supplement to your resume
The short answer is that blogging can help you, regardless of whether you’re currently employed or not. However, it’s better if you start a blog when you’re employed. That way, you’re positioning yourself as an expert in your field and you’re not trying too hard to prove your worth. (You don’t want to come across as desperate or write blog posts that appear panicky.)
If you’re seeking to continue climbing the career ladder, a blog can help supplement your resume. This is especially the case for those who’ve just graduated and don’t have a ton of working experience behind them. Below are some other benefits associated with starting a blog:
- First and foremost, it shows employers that you’re a proficient writer, which is another skill set that might sell you as a viable candidate. (Of course, if writing is not your strong suit or if you don’t like to write, you probably shouldn’t start a blog. Then it might wind up hurting you more than helping you.)
- It shows that you’re both motivated and dedicated. Starting and continuing a blog is not easy, even if you do like to write.
- It shows that you’re technologically savvy, a trait that’s desirable no matter the field of study. The entire world is on the Internet these days.
- It shows that you’re staying on top of trends and developments within your industry.
- It gives some insight into your personality. A person’s writing style tells something about them. Just make certain that you’re sending an accurate message.
Showcasing your blog to employers Okay, you’ve started your blog and it’s been running for months now. There are even people who read it consistently. The time has come for you to move on and continue climbing the career ladder. What’s next? Reference your blog in your resume and as part of the interviewing process. In the “contact information” portion of the resume, list your blog’s website address. If you’re a serious candidate, company officials will be checking out the blog before bringing you in for an interview – and that can give you an edge over other candidates.
You can also talk about the blog during the interview, especially if you have a sizeable number of readers. Companies want to be successful within the realm of social media just like everybody else, and if you’re already experiencing success, they’re going to view you as a valuable asset, and that’s in addition to your core set of skills.
Here are some additional tips for starting and running your blog:
- Don’t lambaste previous employers or vent about your present one. Seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised by how many people fall prey to this. And pay for it.
- Don’t try to be a “know it all.” Nobody knows it all. A blog is a place for sharing and exchanging information and offering thoughts and opinions. As always, honesty is the best policy.
- Be passionate about your subject matter. It goes without saying that you should be passionate about what you do for a living, and on top of that, a potential employer will want you to be passionate about working for them.
If you believe that blogging is something that you’d like to do, it could be well worth your while to get started. Above all, be motivated, dedicated, and passionate . . . and your blog just might give you an edge over everybody else applying for the position.
Upcoming Events in the Animal Science Industry
At The Animal Science Monitor, we’re advocates of continuous education and the promotion of industry events such as conferences and conventions. The training and networking opportunities that exist at these events are extremely valuable and can pay dividends in a number of different ways. The ASM is pleased to highlight these upcoming industry events:
The Cattle Industry Summer Conference – The cattle industry comes together twice a year (once in the winter and once in the summer) to discuss current issues as a group, to work on programs and initiatives, and to set the course of various projects for the betterment of the beef cattle industry. The location of this year’s summer event is The Sheraton Denver Hotel in Denver, Colo., and the dates are Wednesday, July 28, through Sunday, August 1. Click here for more information.
The St. Paul Job Fair – This event is open to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as alumni from all University of Minnesota campuses. The fields represented at the fair include the following: agriculture, animal science, banking/finance, bio-based products, the food industry, retail, and sales & marketing. Last year, more than 100 animal science students and 400 students from other majors attended this one-day event. The location for this year is the St. Paul Student Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota, and the date is Wednesday, September 22. The Fair will be held between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the North Star Ballroom. Click here for more information.
If there’s an industry event that you believe we should promote through our newsletter, please email your information to email@example.com.
Introducing The ASM ‘Video Link(s) of the Month’
Most of you probably remember the “Got Milk” advertisements from a few years back. They were hugely popular at the time, and they’re still on the outer edge of our collective pop culture conscience. In this issue of The Animal Science Monitor, we’re going to travel back in time and highlight a few of those ads, which brought milk – and by extension, the dairy industry – prominently into the public’s eye. For some of you, they might bring back memories . . . for others, it may be the first time you’ve ever seen them.
Aliens search for the “miracle elixir.”
For some reason, men just can’t seem to buy enough.
Here’s a trio of ads from the mind of director Michael Bay.
You don’t want to mess with these senior citizens.
Remember Y2K? Cows don’t.
We’re currently accepting submissions for this feature, which will typically run in the last issue of the month throughout the year. These videos can be humorous in nature or they can pertain to a university or organizational production regarding research or development. Above all, of course, submitted video links must deal with animals or animal science.
You can send your links to firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, The ASM staff reserves the right to reject any submission for any reason.
Coming Up in the Next Issue . . .
Okay, fun’s over, back to work . . . just kidding, of course. However, in the next issue The Animal Science Monitor, we’re going to continue our look at the interview process. Specifically, we’ll examine how companies should approach the process – especially when it’s time to extend an offer – and how candidates should prepare for their face-to-face meeting with company officials. (Because while we know that all work and no play make Jack a dull boy, we also know that Jack wants to get hired.)
The next issue of The ASM is scheduled for publication during the week of July 5.