Gearing up for CALS Career Day

Various booths of employers taking part in CALS Career Day and talking to students.
More than 285 companies will be attending the 2023 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Day on Oct. 10.

AMES, Iowa – Students are polishing resumes and researching which companies they want to check out in preparation for the upcoming College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Day.

This year’s CALS Career Day will take place Oct. 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center on Iowa State University’s campus. More than 285 companies are expected to attend, and Mike Gaul, CALS Career Services director, anticipates that number will grow.

“To say we’re excited for this year’s event would be a serious understatement. As things stand, it is shaping up to potentially be our largest event ever, with nearly 290 companies and organizations in attendance,” Gaul said. “This is a strong reflection on the quality of our students and programs, as well as supply and demand issues of the current labor market.”

Tips for Career Day prep, success

Addison Randall, senior in animal science, offered a few tips to help students “come prepared” to Career Day:

  • carefully review and print off extra copies of your resume;
  • look at the CALS Career Day webpage to learn which companies will be in attendance;
  • make a list of companies you want to talk to and take brief notes about the company;
  • know which positions those companies have available; and
  • take a lap or two around the track inside Lied when you first arrive to help calm your nerves and locate the companies you want to speak with.

“The last thing you want to do is walk up to a company and know nothing about what they do or what position you are interested in learning more about,” Randall said. “Also, talk to the company you are least interested in first so that by the time you get to that company you really want to work for, you are already warmed up and familiar with how the conversations work.”

Attending pre-Career Day networking events hosted by student clubs and organizations can also be helpful.

“I have attended events hosted by the Ag Business Club, and they have been great for making early connections with professionals who will be at the Career Day,” said Lydia Johnson, senior in agricultural and life sciences education.

Leah Greiner, senior in animal science, encourages students to apply for positions they’re interested in before Career Day.

“You will be one step ahead of your peers, and you’ll score an interview a lot sooner,” Greiner said.

Probably the most important advice for students is to “Be confident!”

“The employers want to hire you as much as you want to work for them. Be personable, own the conversation, and never forget how capable you are,” Greiner said.


Mike Gaul, CALS Career Services, 515-294-4725,

Whitney Baxter, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications, 515-294-2314,