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UCD Agriculture, Food Science & Human Nutrition Careers Day 2024

The UCD Agriculture, Food Science & Human Nutrition Careers Day took place on Wednesday, 28th of February 2024. The annual event, organised by students for students, was lucky enough to welcome back Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. to open this year’s event. 

The Careers Day was opened by UCD AgSoc Auditor, Amy Kenny as she welcomed her fellow students and guests and introduced Minister McConalogue.

Minister McConalogue provided a keynote address to final year undergraduate students with Dr Niamh Lenehan, CEO of An Rialálaí Agrabhia - Agri-Food Regulator, and Niamh Bambrick, ASA Vice-President both providing insightful accounts of their personal experiences and encouraging words and advice to take forward on the next stages of their journeys. 

Dean of Agriculture, UCD Professor Frank Monahan and Ms. Amy Woods, Agricultural Science Careers Committee Chair also addressed the audience. 

Providing the keynote address, Minister McConalogue thanked the students by saying “what this industry does is massively important and I want to congratulate and thank all of you for the career choices you’ve chosen and wish you really well for the future.”

He continued by saying “this is an important day for all of you; your predecessors came up with the idea of a careers fair many years ago and they showed really good vision in relation to that as it certainly isn’t the norm across other faculties but it was really important and worthwhile and a really good opportunity as it’s the bringing together of Irish agrifood companies from across the sector with yourselves as graduates from agriculture, food science and human nutrition. It opens up opportunities and networks to you where you can work mutually together in what is a vitally important sector in the year’s ahead.”

Niamh Lenahan who is the newly appointed CEO of of An Rialálaí Agrabhia - Agri-Food Regulator. Also a UCD alum, the audience were excited to hear from Ms.Lenehan to hear about the new position and what the plans for the new State regulatory body will be. 

She commented; “I remember my time in UCD very fondly, it was all too short and you don’t realise that at the time. One thing about coming back this morning and having a look round the campus is how much has changed; it’s obviously very exciting and there’s a huge amount of facilities , it makes you want to come back - it’s a very exciting time.” 

The UCD Agriculture, Food Science and Human Nutrition Careers Day is a long-established event and is an important opportunity for soon-to-be graduates of the various programmes to connect and network with potential future employers. Nearly 50 exhibitors attended the event, providing students with an excellent opportunity to speak with representatives from a wide range of organisations across the agriculture and food industries.

First established in 1923, The UCD Agricultural Science Society, known as AgSoc is one of the largest societies at University College Dublin and has a long history of donating substantial sums to worthy causes. Since 2017, its members have helped raise nearly €400,000 for charities and good causes.

AgSoc has the huge task of organising Careers Day, and any proceeds raised go towards charities chosen by the students. This year, their chosen charities are Embrace FARM and the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust. 

In her speech, Amy Woods, Chairperson, Agricultural Science Careers Committee said, “It’s an honour to be a member of AgSoc and in particular the Chairperson of the AgSoc Careers Committee. I’ll be honest, It had it's moments, but I am very proud to bring you Careers Day today.” 

She thanked her committee, The AgSoc has helped to create a great sense of community spirit and pride in every student… Many of the companies here have been attending for many years, showing the strong links between the School, students and industry. We are also delighted to welcome new faces this year, showing our sector is growing, going from strength to strength.”

Careers Day is the only event of its kind organised within UCD, and demonstrates the professionalism of students in the School of Agriculture and Food Science. Careers Day is one of a series of career focused events hosted within the school to support students with their career development.

Prof. Frank Monahan, Dean of Agriculture and Head of School, UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science said “I don’t need to tell any of you about the challenges we face in the world, and that these problems need to be solved using less resources, more efficiently. But with that, there is huge opportunity for our graduates.”

During the event, Niamh Bambrick, Vice President, ASA (Agricultural Science Association) and UCD Ag Science alumni, made a formal presentation to the winners of the ASA Mock Interviews. ASA coordinates the Mock Interview Series annually to provide students with an opportunity to practise and improve their interview skills as part of their ongoing professional development. 

Before presenting the awards, Niamh offered some key words of wisdom as someone who walked in their shoes only a few years previously - she said “ Give it a try, what do you have to lose! Keep an ear close to the ground; a mentor will be key in your professional and personal development; they will challenge and push you and give you the honest answer, not just what you want to hear. Keep studying, keep learning, continue your education and broaden yourself.” 

UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science

Agriculture and Food Science Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 7205 | Location Map(opens in a new window)