2022 Student Compendium a big hit and fantastic experience

2022 Student Compendium a big hit and fantastic experience

The SA Division of Ag Institute Australia (AIA-SA) in association with the Adelaide University Agricultural Student Association (AUASA) recently launched the 2022 Student Compendium to an enthusiastic gathering at the Arkaba Hotel.

IMG 1635


Over 20 students and 30 Industry leaders and Agribusiness professionals attended. This mix of attendees was a great networking opportunity for all, with students looking for industry connections and career ideas, and Industry looking for new, young and energetic employees. The AIA-SA Student Interns outlined the great experienced that they’d had in developing the Compendium for students and industry, and the new skills that they’d developed to prepare themselves for very exciting careers.

James Easter, AUASA President said, “This compendium is proving to be the one-stop shop for anyone looking for an opportunity of any kind in Agriculture, including Graduate Programs, Internships, Competitions, Training, Conferences, Awards, Scholarships, Tours and Trips. It will also help Bachelor of Agricultural (450 hours) and Animal Science students (200 hours) as they perform internship work to complete their degree.”

“A big thank you must go out to the Compendium’s major funding partner, the SA Sheep Industry Fund, sponsors and supporters, and those businesses that provided an entry”. “My roles included seeking an expression of interest from the other two Interns, and ensuring they had a mix of skills, contacting the Agribusinesses ranging from agronomy to livestock to horticulture and training organisations, to seek editorial and sponsorship, and writing the ‘interest attraction’ article in the rural media”, James added.

James reflected on the development of the relationship with AIA-SA and offered acknowledgement, “I would like to thank the 2021 AUASA President, Brianna Schaefer for her vision and strength to build a relationship with AIA-SA, which has resulted in a number of collaborations in our career events and The Compendium”.

“I developed the formal letter and email invite, and we quickly learnt that the email was too long for busy people. We initially found the “cold-calling” of professionals we didn’t know to be very daunting, but as we got some interest, it got a bit easier. Our generation mainly uses text and the socials, we don’t even use email that much, so a phone call and conversation to someone you don’t know is very rare and threatening”.

As the AUASA Communications Officer, I was simultaneously completing the design and development of the new AUASA website, but this also allowed me to easily post information, media releases and events”.

Shannon Manouge, AUASA Communications Officer

Emily Chambers, a 2nd Year AUASA representative shared, “my experience as an intern creating the 2022 Student Compendium has been nothing short of fantastic, as I’ve gained valuable skills that I’ll take with me for the rest of my degree and early career. The skills that we’ve all gained will provide a “point of difference” in our job applications and CV, while at the same time providing a great resource for students and industry”. “The working group meetings and review workshop have allowed us, student interns, to gain experience in project management, recording action notes, minutes, reflections, constructive discussion and general good communication.”

“To receive our AIA-SA stipend, we were required to submit an internship log of our monthly hours and learning reflections. Excitingly, we were able to be involved in some grant writing tuition from an AIA-SA member, Dr Rhiannon Schilling, and this was followed by participating in writing two good applications. I found this part of the internship highly valuable as I will be able to use these skills to write future grant applications for AUASA and into my career.”

“To raise further awareness nationwide about the Student Compendium and what it hopes to achieve, Bruce Hancock, in conjunction with ourselves, and Emma Peters, the MLA-Livestock Consulting Intern wrote a conference paper for the Australian Association of Animal Sciences Biennial Conference in Cairns in July’22. This one-page paper explains what the Compendium provides to agricultural students, what the internship provides to the undergraduate student interns and how it's delivering on the Sheep, Beef and Grain Industry Blueprints”.

Emily added, “we’ve continued to monitor and evaluate, and in an online survey of students, 92% of participants described the potential value of the Compendium as moderately valuable or highly valuable”.

“And as for the future, we aim to introduce a new round of student interns, from a variety of backgrounds and interests to include all agricultural industries. This year saw a 50% increase in entries, going from 100 entries in 2021 to 153 this year. Our goal for 2023-25 is to increase the number of entries to 200, to capture a greater number of agricultural opportunities for students. We also aim to expand the Compendium to reach secondary students, to increase interest in pursuing agriculture as a career”.

Emily added further on the future, “that based on interest and feedback received since publishing the Student Compendiums in 2021 and 2022, and as more people hear about it via personal communications and mass media, and as new organisations and sectors are approached by the interns and AIA-SA alike, more businesses are choosing to contribute editorial content, and some are favouring funding and sponsorship. It’s an innovative and unique centrepiece resource that is a talking piece and conversation starter to ‘call everyone to action’ on all of the ‘building human capacity pillars of SA Sheep, Beef and Grains Industry Blueprints. The Student Compendium will continue to assist the next generation of students to find opportunities to engage and be attracted into agricultural industries, helping them along on their lifelong, fulfilling careers in agriculture”.