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Interns and New Grads:  What can you expect?


Information compiled by Bonnie Johnson, Marketing Associate conducted The Intern and New Grad Hiring and Compensation Survey to document trends and practices for internship programs and new graduate recruitment in the ag industry.  Companies across a variety of agricultural sectors shared their information with  Here are some highlights to help you know what to expect when you are searching for an internship or your first job.




  • Start your internship search in the fall since companies report that November is the most prevalent month for filling and completing offers for internship positions. 
  • Plan for a full summer internship; interns worked an average of 40 hours per week, with the majority of companies offering a 12 week internship.
  • Unless you have multiple offers, trying to negotiate your pay as an intern probably isn’t worth it.  More than 70% of companies said intern pay rates are not negotiable.
  • Think about how skills learned in your internship can transfer to another company or position. Nearly 80% of companies extended a full-time position for the following year to at least one eligible intern.  Almost 10% of companies did not have any full-time positions available. 




  • How are your grades? Companies were asked as part of the hiring process, if new graduate applicant’s GPAs were evaluated.  Forty-two percent said “yes” and close to half said they were sometimes evaluated.   
  • In contrast to internships, nearly 90% of companies said pay rates for new grad hires were negotiable. 
  • It’s more than just salary.  The benefits most commonly offered to new grad employees were health insurance, training/development, retirement savings and bonus/incentive/commission.  Other notable benefits were wellness programs, relocation, cell phones and education reimbursement, all reported by more than 50% of participating companies. 
  • The most new grads were hired into production/operations roles, followed by sales and financing/analyst roles.  


Make sure to get engaged with what is happening on-campus:  Companies say that collegiate recruiting and career fairs are a crucial way they reach and attract students to their organization.