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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


AEDE Spring 2017 Graduate Jake Vuillemin Negotiated his Dream Job

March 24, 2017

Historically, AEDE undergrads have had a 93% job placement rate, with 9 out of 10 graduates placed in jobs or enrolled in graduate degree programs within six months of graduation.  For spring 2017 graduate Jake Vuillemin, the odds were even more in his favor.  This past November, he found himself in the advantageous position of fielding three job offers six months BEFORE graduation.  With the help of AEDE Lecturer Dr. Anna Parkman, Vuillemin was able to negotiate a pay scale that met his requirements for his dream job. 

“The job I really wanted didn’t pay as well as the two others,” says Vuillemin.  “But I knew I had to tread lightly when I went back to them so I asked Dr. Parkman for advice.”

Advice she was primed to offer due to her extensive background in education and industry and her broad view of the business world. 

“Dr. Parkman told me that asking for more compensation in a polite and respective way would show my negociation skills,” says Vuillemin.  “I was able to voice why I wanted to work for the company even when I had other offers that paid more.” 

Negotiating with the prospective employee paid off –  Vuillemin starts as a Commodity Risk Management Analysis for the Dairy Farmers of America in Kansas City, Missouri at the end of May.

Vuillemin and many other AEDE students are uniquely prepared for the job market because of their undergraduate research work.   Vuillemin worked with Dr. Ani Katchova on a variety of research projects through the Farm Income Enhancement program.

"One of his projects was to analyze trends for cooperatives," says Katchova.  "This also helped Jake stand out in the interview process with the Dairy Farmers of America. Providing such opportunities to our undergraduate students boosts their experience and resume and helps them find jobs."

“Jake was so proud of how he shaped his future,” says Parkman.  “AEDE positions students to be successful and I think it has to do with the Applied Economics and Agribusiness pieces.  The combination of a business foundation and knowledge of economic concepts gives our students so many options post-graduation.”

Vuillemin shares that he made a meaningful first contact with a representative from his future employer at a College career fair.  In his case, this enabled him to make a more meaningful first-impression than if his first point of contact was through an online application.  He also thinks the volume of applications and resumes he submitted helped drive the amount of offers he ultimately received.  “It’s a numbers game and I spent a lot of Saturdays shooting out applications before I landed that first phone interview.” 

He also offers this advice to fellow students still going through the application and interviewing process.  “I know this might sound clichéd but you have to be yourself,” says Vuillemin.  “Be honest about what you want and your experience in your interviews.  Employers are so used to hearing the same responses to interview questions.  You have to stand out.”

March 24, 2017