The key to being successful is getting involved with Registered Student Organizations as early as possible. Join organizations related to your major and you will network with professors and other students. Below are a few ways to get involved with organizations related to the Agricultural Communications major.
Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT)
This is the flagship student organization of the Program. Membership in the organization is not limited to Ag Comm majors; those who are interested in professional communication related to food, agriculture, energy, and the environment can join. Illini ACT members participate in monthly meetings, regularly meet with Ag Comm alumni, attend professional development conferences, plan and participate in social gatherings, and submit works to the National ACT Critique and Contest. Additionally, ACT members gain insight into Ag Comm courses, internships, and careers by interacting with faculty members and professionals.
Illini ACT offers informal mentoring between students. ACT members help each other find and get internships, choose classes, and get acquainted to university life. Contact advisor Jennifer Shike or view the Illini ACT Wordpress or Facebook for more information.
National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA)
Students involved with NAMA learn from professionals in marketing, advertising, promotion, sales, public relations, and allied fields the various career opportunities available in agri-marketing. NAMA members develop valuable personal contacts and working relations with various agri-marketing professionals. These contacts typically lead to internships, co-op programs, job interviews, referrals, business recommendations, and career opportunities.
NAMA provides meaningful opportunities for students to practice their managerial skills (planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling) and demonstrate their leadership abilities. The organization has regular professional chapter meetings, seminars and social events. These meetings provide students the opportunity to become highly visible prospects for employment after graduation
Members have the opportunity to attend the annual Agri-Marketing Conference and participate in activities of TEAM NAMA, the National Marketing Competition, the John Deere Signature Awards, Outstanding Student Chapter Competition, and the Agri-Business Educational Foundation Scholarship Awards. Attending the annual conference enables students to establish personal contacts with marketing professionals throughout the United States and Canada, and offers experiences that assist students in making the transition to a business professional. For more information, visit NAMA's Facebook or contact advisor Theresa Miller.
American Advertising Federation (AAF)
AAF is a professional business organization that brings together students and professionals to create a unifying voice in the industry. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AAF consists of a nationwide network of advertisers, agencies, media companies, local clubs and student groups. The AAF Illinois Chapter expands students network of professional mentors in the fields of advertising, media and marketing. Through presentations, social events, philanthropic events, and participation in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC), AAF members gain skills that supplement their education and help them land jobs after graduation. The organization accepts new members at the beginning of each semester (excluding summer). For more information, visit the AAF website or e-mail the Illinois AAF chapter.
Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies (JAMS)
JAMS unites students primarily across the majors in the College of Media, but also welcomes those outside of the college. JAMS members work on a variety of media projects to enrich leadership skills. Student members work with the local cable station, UI-7, to produce their own shows every two weeks. JAMS bring in guest speakers to its monthly meetings and hold social events. Find out more information on JAMS' Facebook page.
Illinois Public Relations Association
The Illini Public Relations Association facilitates the career development of its members and exposes them more to the public relations field through professional speakers, career workshops, case study discussions, technology training, and community projects. Meetings are typically held Tuesdays or Wednesday. For more information, e-mail IlliniPRA@gmail.com or visit the Illini PRA's website.
The Ag Comm Leadership Council
The Agricultural Communications Leadership Council offers student-alumni mentorship opportunities. This mentor program is designed to connect Ag Comm students with an industry professional for advice on career planning. Opportunities to job shadow may be available through the mentor as well. Contact current Leadership Council President Ken Rinkenberger for more information.