Students

Career Services for CALS Students

You have goals, we help you get there.

Our dedicated staff is here to help you connect the dots from College to Career. With an education from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, you can be confident you will graduate ready for success in numerous industries. Our guidance and resources will support your drive to succeed as you explore potential career paths, gain valuable experiences, and secure your first job or graduate school offer.

Don’t wait to start planning your future. Visit us today and let us help you take the first step towards a successful career.

How Career Services can help:

  • One-on-one career counseling to help you identify your strengths and career goals
  • Resume, cover letter, and personal statement reviews to ensure your application materials are top-notch
  • Interview preparation to build your confidence
  • Career events to give you an inside look at different industries and career paths
  • Access to job and internship postings from top employers in a variety of fields

Career Advising

Our experienced Career Advising team is available to provide individualized attention and support as you plan your professional development experiences. We can help you get started on a resume, practice for an interview, create a job search strategy, prepare for graduate school, or explore careers. 

Current Students: Schedule an appointment with a member of the CALS Career Advising Team

We see alumni up to two years after graduation. Please send us an email at career@cals.wisc.edu if you’d like to set up an appointment with an advisor.

Handshake

Handshake makes it easy for every UW-Madison student to explore career events, connect to jobs and internships, and even schedule on-campus interviews. 

With Handshake you can: 

  • Browse and register for career events on campus 
  • Explore thousands of jobs and internships from over 300K employers nationwide  
  • Get personalized job recommendations based on your major, interests, and more  
  • Manage your own campus interviews with top employers

Questions? Visit the student help center.

Big Interview

Big Interview is an online system that combines training and practice to help improve each user’s interview technique and build confidence. 

Watch this Introduction to Big Interview video for a brief overview of the platform and its capabilities. For additional information and resources, visit https://careers.wisc.edu/big-interview/ .

Resources

Resume book: resume examples from every CALS major. See how other students with similar educational backgrounds have demonstrated their skills and abilities.

Graduate and Professional School Preparation online asynchronous course: tailored to programs to which CALS students are typically interested in applying. Programs included are Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, Physician Assistant, Graduate Degrees in Research, Masters of Public Health, Masters of Social Work, Dietetics, and Law.

Student Resource Guides: great first step when you are starting to explore your options, are preparing for a job/internship search or are applying for graduate school.

Find guides for:

Internships

Inter-AG 340

Build a portfolio of personal career tools while learning from your peers! CALS Career Services offers Inter-AG 340, a 1-credit, asynchronous course for STEM students wanting to participate in an internship for credit. This class is appropriate for international students seeking Curricular Practical Training (CPT). The class offered during the summer term and students are allowed to repeat this course. Inter-AG 340 is open to any UW-Madison student in a STEM major and enrollment priority will be given to CALS students.

Internship Fund

Have an unpaid or underpaid summer internship? Consider applying for a CALS Internship Fund!

The CALS Career Services Student Internship Fund provides support payments of up to $5,000 to enable CALS undergraduate students to take advantage of internships—paid or unpaid—during their undergraduate careers. The funds may be used to offset lack of wages for an unpaid or underpaid internship, as well as assist with expenses incurred during the internship, including living and transportation costs. Preference will be given to students who would not have the ability to complete an internship without additional funding.

Students can access the application on Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH) in February. The deadline to apply is April 30th, 2024. Recipients will be notified the first week of May.

Fund Eligibility:

  • CALS undergraduate student
  • Internship must be 10 hours/week minimum; 6 weeks minimum, and take place in the summer term.
  • Have applied to or secured an internship: Internship must be verified by April 30th, 2024. Verification of the internship experience should be a letter of verification (or “offer letter”) from the internship employer stating that the student has secured an internship. The letter should include the beginning and end dates of the internship, the number of hours a week, and pay or stipend information.
  • Students will be selected on the strength of their application, demonstrated financial need, and quality of the internship experience.
  • For a workplace experience (virtual, hybrid, or in-person) to be considered an internship, it must meet the following criteria:
    • A learning experience with a real-world opportunity to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or replace the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
    • Learned skills and knowledge that are transferable to other employment settings.
    • A defined beginning and end that is mutually agreed upon and consistent with institutional sponsor guidelines and schedules.
    • A position description with clear responsibilities and required/detailed qualifications.
    • Clearly defined learning objectives/goals supportive of the student’s academic program goals and institutional requirements.
    • Direct supervision by a professional(s) with relevant expertise and educational and/or professional experience who provides productive feedback, guidance, and the resources and equipment necessary to successfully complete the assignment.

These payments are made possible through the generous donation from the Oscar N. and Ethel K. Allen Memorial Coordinative Internship Educational Grant.

Internship Resources

For-Credit Internship Agreement Form

Students participating in a course for an internship (for example a departmental 399 course) are asked to complete the Internship Agreement Form in conjunction with their faculty member and site supervisor.

Events

2024-2025 CALS Career Events

CALS Career Kick-Off

  • Third week of September, 2024

Fall Career & Internship Fair

  • Third week of September, 2024, Kohl Center

Biotech Connector

  • September 24th, 2024, Wisconsin Institute of Discovery, 5-7:30pm

Food and Ag Connector

  • October 9th, 2024, Memorial Union-Great Hall, 5-7:30pm

Fall Employer Trek

Fall 2024 Environmental Federal Pathways Virtual Employer Panel

Environmental Connector

  • February 13th, 2025, Wisconsin Institute of Discovery, 5-7:30pm

Spring Career and Internship Fair

  • Mid-February, 2025

Spring Employer Trek

    Career Treksexpand_more

    Career Treks provide a unique opportunity to bring students on-site to fully experience the working environment with one of our trusted employers. These trips give students access to interact with team members, explore the physical space, and see company operations in action. Contact us at career@cals.wisc.edu to learn about potentially hosting UW-Madison students!

    What students are saying about Career Treks:

    • It was “very informative while still being fun. Very welcoming and organized.”
    • “Loved it!”

    Connectorsexpand_more

    Our industry connector series is a CALS Career Services Signature Event. We work with dedicated alumni, recruiters, and company employees to join us for themed networking nights. This event allows us to create an informal space for students to explore career paths, as well as self-evaluate their skills, passions, and knowledge in our aligned clusters. Reach out to career@cals.wisc.edu to learn more about meeting with our students at a Connector!

    What students are saying about Connectors:

    • “It was very low stakes and I felt like I could be myself and ask questions without worrying.”
    • “It gave me the opportunity to see what jobs are available in the near future.”
    • The “informal aspect made talking to recruiters less intimidating.”

    What employers are saying about Connectors:

    “The casual atmosphere was really nice. I was consistently talking with students throughout the event. I had genuine, honest and even fun conversations with most of them (those who were interested in working in my field and those who were just curious). I think it would have been helpful to attend such an event when I was in their shoes.”

Check Out How CALS Career Services Helps Badgers Prepare for Their Next Step After Graduation in this Video:

Did you know?

87%

CALS students agree that UW-Madison prepared them for the next step in their career path.

100%

CALS students participate in internships, co-op experiences, employment or volunteering while at UW-Madison.

#1

UW–Madison continually ranks as one of the top schools in the nation for students who volunteer with service organizations post-graduation.

FAQ’s

Can first year students meet with a career advisor?expand_more

It is never too early to start thinking about career and professional development. The earlier you start thinking about career development, the more successful you will be. We encourage students to start using our services as soon as they can. There are many things you can start with right away – career exploration, resume writing, and searching for internships.

When do I start looking for a full-time post graduation job?expand_more

Upcoming important career development events and information sessions for CALS students can be found on Handshake, our LinkedIn page (request to join! ), and the CALS Academic Affairs weekly newsletter.

What’s the difference between a Resume and a CV?expand_more

A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is often multiple pages and includes publications, academic conference presentations, teaching experience, and public service.  Usually, a CV is only necessary if you have an advanced graduate or professional degree.  

A resume is a one or two page document specifically tailored to the job or internship opening for which you are applying.  Most employers want only as much information as needed to demonstrate that your skills and experience match the needs of the job description.

Be aware that some people will use the terms CV and resume interchangeably, which can be confusing. Outside the United States, employers may refer to all resume-like documents as CVs.  Make sure you know what kind of document is expected, and ask if necessary.

If you need help creating a CV please make an appointment with a member of the CALS Career Advising Team.

What kind of jobs do I qualify for with my major?expand_more

Your major can help open up a variety of career opportunities. To understand what types of careers are available to you, it is strongly recommended that you conduct industry and company research and gain practical experience either through volunteer, research, or internship experience. A Career Services Advisor can assist you with career exploration and developing a career plan that integrates the education you gain at CALS.

Where can I learn about undergraduate research opportunities?expand_more

The research finding process can be daunting, but with a bit of introspection and some internet searching, you will be on your way. When looking at a particular research area, try asking yourself, “How does this field fit with my major/career?”, “What about this field aligns with my interests?”, or “Why is this field better for me than another?”. This stage in the process is also a great time to discuss your interests with family, friends, and advisors. Those who know you well may illuminate interests you have difficulty identifying. After narrowing your research interests, you may be wondering where to find researchers in these fields.

Here is a great list to start looking:

*Check out WISCIENCE for more information and tips

How do I negotiate the salary in my job offer?expand_more

You can ask your employer if they’re willing to negotiate the salary offered. If they are, be ready with the amount you want and reason you should receive that amount. A career advisor can provide you with industry-related rate and can help you learn the language to ask for a match to other salaries you’ve received.

Is CALS Career Services open during the summer?expand_more

Yes, we are open year round, with the exception of University designated holidays.

Industry Relations

Are you an employer looking to connect with CALS students? Check out our Employer Relations page!

Career Services Team

Kristina Vack

Director of CALS Career Services

vack@wisc.edu

Paige LaPoint

Career Services Manager

plapoint@wisc.edu

Nate Doolin

Employer Relations Manager

nathan.doolin@wisc.edu

Office of Academic Affairs

116 Agricultural Hall
1450 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Office Hours: 7:45am – 4:30pm

For current & prospective student general inquiries:
Phone: 608.262.3003
Email: academicaffairs@cals.wisc.edu