7 Ways FFA Helped Me Find My Future Career
When I entered my first ag class my freshman year of high school, FFA had me hooked.
Throughout the next four years I found myself at every event I could possibly attend. Ice-breaker, career development events, COLT conference, national convention; you name it, I was there. As I attended state leadership conference at the end of my freshman year, I realized this organization was going to have a huge impact on my life, but what I didn’t know was just how much of an impact.
Fast forward four years and I have served a year as an Arizona FFA State Officer and am now attending Angelo State University but not as an ag major. My major here is Kinesiology in hopes of eventually becoming an occupational therapist. You are probably wondering How in the world did FFA lead her to pursue a career in Kinesiology? So let me share with you just how largely the FFA influenced me
1. FFA Gave Me Professional Skills I Can Use Anywhere
Throughout my time in the FFA, I spent many hours writing resumes, completing applications, and speaking both publicly and face-to-face. With these skills, I am prepared me to enter any field. Trust me communication skills are always needed.
In fact, just one of my professors was recently discussing how many college graduates lack communication skills. I can’t help but think how thankful I am for the solid communication skills I gained through the FFA
2. I Saw First Hand the Importance of Serving Others
I’ll be honest, at the time I was not a fan of having to do all the service projects. However, the impact we made on our state, community, and even nation taught me more than I imagined. I saw agriculturists passionate about their work as they affected millions of lives every day. I know even in a non-ag career, if the basis of my work is serving and truly helping those I work with, I will be successful. FFA gave me a heart of service that will serve me the rest of my life.
3. FFA Taught Me that I have Options Wherever I Go
Throughout my time in the FFA, I competed in many different Career Development Events. CDE’s range from public speaking to agronomy, and from ag sales to ag mechanics. While I had no idea at the time, I now see these options showed me there is so much opportunity to be great leaders in agriculture or any other industry you choose.
4. I Found my True Strengths and Talents
I had the opportunity to try so many things within the FFA, that as time went on I was able to truly narrow what I loved to do. Recognizing these strengths helped me to find the direction I needed to take to use my talents. While the career I am pursuing is not in the agricultural industry, I owe a huge thanks to the FFA for showing me what I love.
5. FFA Taught me the Importance of Relationships
My best friends to this day I met through FFA. One of my favorite things about FFA was meeting so many people. I also met many government and agricultural leaders who I was able to learn so much from. I would definitely not be on the path i’m on without learning the importance of these connections.
6. I Learned the Value in Diversity
I have seen diversity in so many areas; people, crops, values, land, etc. At first it was difficult to see the value in diversity, but as time progressed I saw that not only is there value, but there is also necessity in diversity. As an occupational therapist I will have the opportunity to work with different people.. I am excited to be able to help them through whatever they may be going through.
7. FFA Taught me to be Proud of Myself
While humility is very important, FFA showed me having a sense of pride is equally important. When you take pride in what you do, it gives you this confidence to do what you really want and to do it well. It was scary for me to switch my major from ag, but as I glanced up at my wall filled with plaques and pictures I remembered that I had limitless opportunities and I could accomplish anything that I so desired. I am proud to have been a part of such a great organization. I am excited to continue to serve the agriculture industry maybe not in the most traditional way, but definitely still serving.