Created in 2004 by Jay Pack and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), the original Pack Family Career Pathways brought the first group of top students and faculty from universities across the country to PMA's Fresh Summit Convention & Expo. Today we have grown to nine programs around the globe that introduce over 150 students a year to our industry. Our future goal will be to reach and educate even more top students through additional programming, increased university outreach and internship offers.
Role of an Industry Mentor
A Career Ambassador is assigned to each student to serve as an industry adviser, answer questions, introduce them to other industry professionals, and simply help them embrace the myriad of opportunities and rewards the produce and floral industry has to offer.
Participate in Educational Workshops
Students attend customized workshops designed specifically for undergraduate students. Depending on the time available during the event workshop topics could include:
- Industry Overview of the Produce and Floral Supply Chain – Industry leaders explain the produce and floral supply chain and “how it all fits together.”
- Career Panel Workshop – A panel of industry leaders share their passion and insight on the rewards and challenges of a career in our industry.
- Industry Tours – Participants get to see firsthand the day to day happenings of our businesses.
- Young Professionals Session – Young professionals, those recently entering the industry, sit down with the students to answer questions and share their experiences, giving them a “glimpse from the inside.”
Engage in Networking Opportunities
During the programs, students are given time to walk the exposition floors and meet industry professionals. Students may also be invited to attend networking events.
Support Student Projects
Students are given assignments prior to the start of the programs to help prepare them for the event and add more value to the entire learning experience.
In their words
Family Tree Farms
I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of Career Pathways, which helped jump-start my career into the produce industry. This experience introduced me to a variety of people and opportunities within the industry. I’m grateful for the time my mentor gave to me and his insights into the industry.
Career Pathways was an excellent experience that allowed me to engage with industry professionals as a student. I’m grateful for the professional contacts and mentorship I received being a part of the program. I still keep in contact with a majority of the people I met. I believe Career Pathways gives students a chance to see the broader picture and plants the seed for future industry talent.
Nova Agri Inc.
Career Pathways provided me with the bridge into a dynamic industry. No two days are ever the same in the industry, yielding constant on-the-job learning in an ever-changing environment.