This past week I was in Kansas City, MO where the University of Saskatchewan CAMA team was competing in the National Agricultural Marketing Association marketing plan competition. Sadly, our team did not make it out of the preliminary rounds, but I think the students have a lot of positives they can take away from the competition. While I am sure not all of this has fully sunk in for the students as they are busy juggling final exams, internships and job offers, a social life, and various extra-curricular activities, hopefully it will soon. One thing I wanted to convey to the students is that while the outcome was not what we hoped for when we boarded the plane on Tuesday, the experiences and connections that you have gained should more than make up for the results.
Furthermore, from a strategic employment perspective there were 12 students that worked hard to get the team ready for competition. Contrast this with the roughly 500 students in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. As an employer, I would rather hire a student that has actually ‘done’ something than one that just learned about it in class. While we offer a few courses with experiential learning components, I would like to increase the level of experiential learning that we offer here in my department as students move through the program (and to partner with other institutions to foster greater cross pollination of ideas). Our world is becoming increasingly globalized and I think our educational system should as well. Implementing this vision effectively is an idea for another post.