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Interns and New Grads: What Can You Expect


Interns and New Grads: What Can You Expect? conducted The Intern and New Grad Hiring and Compensation Survey to document trends and practices for internship programs and new graduate recruitment in the agricultural industry. Companies across a variety of agricultural sectors shared their information with We’ve collected a few highlights to help you know what to expect when you are searching for an internship or your first job.

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.



  • 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.
  • The most interns were hired into production or operations roles, followed by sales and marketing roles.





Companies have summer internship programs to create a structured opportunity to help you get the most out of your summer.  With most companies looking at their intern program to fill entry-level roles, it’s important for you to be prepared as you begin your internship.  I encourage interns to have a plan on personal outcomes for the summer as the 10-12 weeks will go fast.  I encourage them to think about who to network with, experiences they want, skills to work on and in the end, how to identify if the company’s culture and industry are a fit for them.  Companies will help facilitate many of these activities in the summer so be prepared to engage and get the most out of your summer!  

Nick Koewler – Land O’Lakes, Inc.



Graduates can leverage their experiences and education by being patient and soaking up knowledge of a business or industry, either as a new hire or as a potential for employment.  Asking questions (Continual Learning) and being realistic regarding business opportunities pays off.  Although a graduate may want to be promoted quickly, often times a business would like the graduate to learn and understand their business processes, then earn a promotion.  This patience can pay off exponentially in increased exposure to a company and meaningful promotional opportunities.  

Deb Franklin – CLAAS




  • 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. Close to 12% did not evaluate GPAs.
  • 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.