Recent NDSU graduate gives insight to starting a career during pandemic

Recent North Dakota State University graduate, Anna Lemm, is learning not only what it is like to start a career, but what it is like starting a career during a pandemic.

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Anna Lemm, a 2020 NDSU graduate. (Contributed photo)

Graduating college is a memorable milestone filled with a mixture of emotions. During a normal year, many college graduates would be excited to start their new career, their new life. But, in the year of COVID-19, starting a career, or even finding a job can feel like a daunting task.

For those lucky enough to have had jobs lined up before the pandemic hit, they are still learning to navigate working from home and the learning curves that come with the territory. Anna Lemm, a recent graduate of North Dakota State University, is one of the lucky ones.

“It has been a weird time to graduate and start a career, to say the least,” Lemm said.

Lemm grew up on a family farm where her family grows soybeans, corn and other small grains and raises a herd of Hereford cattle. In college, Lemm majored in agricultural communication and minored in animal sciences.

She was very active in collegiate clubs such as the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Saddle and Sirloin and Collegiate Farm Bureau. Her major and additional experience in agricultural-based clubs made her marketable to potential employers.


Lemm began her post-graduate career with AgCountry Farm Credit Services as a marketing content specialist. Due to the pandemic, Lemm has had to work remotely from her home. Working remotely has been a learning curve for Lemm, someone who thrives off personal interaction and loves to be around people.

“It's hard not having co-workers in the cubicle next to me to ask questions to or just to talk with,” Lemm said.

Before being offered a full-time job at AgCountry, Lemm was proactive in her job search. She communicated to those in her network and made sure they knew she was interested in a position. She attributes her persistence to landing a job for the company she works for now.

“I did have a prior internship with AgCountry, but I did not have a full-time position lined up with them. I made sure people at the company knew I was interested in staying and I think that really helped me,” Lemm said.

Some of Lemm’s friends and classmates had trouble finding jobs once the pandemic hit. However, her friends who were looking for employment within the ag industry seemed to have better luck with their search.

“A lot of my friends in the ag industry were getting hired no problem once the pandemic hit, but my friends in other industries did not have as much success,” Lemm said.

Lemm believes in the power of networking, and urges new graduates looking for employment to talk to those in the industry.

“The biggest thing is letting people know that you're looking and letting people know what you're looking for, at any time, but especially now with the pandemic. Using and growing your network is so important,” Lemm said.

Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
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