|(Houghton, NY) – Six Houghton College students and two faculty members recently attended the 2017 Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Region I Cluster Meeting in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
The conference provided students with opportunities to attend a career and professional development workshop, network, and explore internship opportunities. Houghton’s attendees – juniors John Khalaf, Jon Povish, and Ben Reber, alongside seniors Jake Annis, JongMin (Michael) Cha, and Erik Sorenson – are in STEM-related majors, including computer science, data science, mathematics, and physics. They learned about potential careers in agriculture, how to apply to graduate schools, and LinkedIn. Students were joined by Kim Pool, director of Houghton College’s Vocational Opportunities and Career Advising (VOCA) Center, and Dr. Rebecca Williams, assistant professor of biology.
Cha currently serves as the undergrad president for the national chapter of MANRRS, while Annis is the local Houghton College chapter president.
In addition to workshops, the attendees conducted mock interviews with an employer, attended a career fair, and competed in elevator pitch and impromptu speech competitions. Annis took first place in the elevator speech competition for Region I, which qualifies him to compete at the National MANRRS Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, in April of 2018.
“The conference was an excellent opportunity for our students to step out of their comfort zone, meet new people, and compete in a speaking competition,” says Kim Pool. “Employers were impressed with the Houghton delegation, commenting on their academic knowledge and networking abilities.”
MANRRS is a national society that welcomes the membership of people from all racial backgrounds interested in participating in agricultural and related science careers. MANRRS provides networking opportunities for its student members; works to enhance leadership, public speaking, and organizational skills; and helps link prospective employers to qualified individuals.
Houghton College is a liberal arts institution that challenges students to academic excellence – in the context of a relevant Christian community – and empowers them to enrich the world. The college of 1,000 students is located in Western New York, just 65 miles from Buffalo and Rochester. For more information, please visit www.houghton.edu.