Careers in Science and Agriculture

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Photo courtesy of UW-Madison CALS. Plant pathologist Jeri Barak, entomologist Russell Groves (standing) and doctoral student Jose Pablo Soto-Arias study how insects spread pathogens on food crops.

Sarah Botham, Faculty Associate
Life Sciences Communication
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
608-444-1101
sfbotham@wisc.edu

Sarah Botham talks about careers in science in agriculture. 

Total Time: 3:18

0:15 – Job potential for people interested in science and agriculture
1:00 – What kinds of things should people pursing these careers think about
1:25 – What a student should expect to do while they are studying
2:10 – What internships are
2:45 – Hot career opportunities
3:10 – lead out


TRANSCRIPT

Sevie Kenyon: Sarah, tell us a little about the job potential for people interested in science and agriculture.

Sarah Botham: you know science and agriculture are two of the most quickly expanding fields available, because there is so much potential for learning and for growth and for marketing new products, marketing new ideas. Science brings us new discoveries that have to be communicated well. Agriculture is on everybody’s plate these days, no pun intended. But everybody is talking about farm to table and vine to glass and everybody wants to know where their food comes from. All of that is fantastic. If you’re interested in agriculture, you have to be able to communicate well about those products and about what your farm and your animals mean to the consumers.

Sevie Kenyon: For people considering career options and going onto school, what kinds of things should they think about?

Sarah Botham: They should think about job opportunities first, no matter what field you pursue. But if you’re thinking about I’m going to spend four years in college and then I want to get a job. You want to pursue a field that has career opportunities and Life Sciences Communication, agriculture science communication, science marketing, agriculture marketing, very, very popular lots of opportunity in those fields and there are jobs.

Sevie Kenyon: And Sarah, what kinds of things should a student expect to do while they are here studying?

Sarah Botham: Students should expect to pursue all kinds of opportunities in extracurricular organizations like, the National Agri-Marketing Association, Saddle and Sirloin, Association of Women in Agriculture. There are just limitless opportunities in extracurricular activities on campus. Being involved in those helps hone your skills outside the classroom and prepares you for the work world and a lot of real world situations, but they should also really pursue internships. Because those internships give you an opportunity to test your skills and create networking opportunities that form connections that open doors when it comes time for looking for a job

Sevie Kenyon: And Sarah, maybe I’ll have you back up just a little bit here, describe for us what internships are?

Sarah Botham: Internships, these days, are paid opportunities for students to come in and work a semester a summer, or even an entire academic year, learning with and contributing as part of a team in an organization. It might be a large organization might be a small organization, in some instances I’ve had students go in and be the only marketing person in a department. They start as an intern; they craft the department kind of the way they think it ought to be built and pretty soon they graduate and they are the department, full time.

Sevie Kenyon: Perhaps you can give us an idea of what are some hot career opportunities these days?

Sarah Botham: Science communication is big, social media is huge. You can be a social media specialist in a marketing department of an organization. Large or small, you can be a social media specialist in an advertising agency that specializes in agriculture or science communication.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Sarah Botham, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin Madison and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon.

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