If you’re considering a career in communication, with a friendly outgoing personality to match, then consider planting yourself in Mzansi’s fertile agricultural industry.
Jennifer Roets (51) unexpectedly ended up in the agricultural industry and today she works as a communications and events consultant for major agricultural commodities including the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) in South Africa and the Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA).
A big part of her job involves acting as a media liaison officer and planning and attending special events. Find out what her cool agri career entails.
1Sum up your job:
My job entails media liaison, event planning, project management, building brand awareness, corporate relationships and developing communications programmes to reach target markets.
2So, what does the day-to-day of your job entail?
Content generation, social media posts, working with graphic designers, organising events and attending conferences.
What qualification do you need for this career?
Several courses helped me. After school I did a course to become an executive secretary. I then furthered my studies at university. My subjects included shorthand, typing and business communication. Thereafter I started with a BA Degree in Communications and after completion I did my honours degree with “journalism” and “influence and persuasion” as major.
During my career I also did short courses, such as marketing and retail management, public relations, social media, applied economics, web development and English editing.
4What are the character traits you need to be great at your job?
People skills, writing skills, being detail-orientated, punctual and adventurous.
5Have you always worked in the agriculture sector?
It was not planned but I started my career in agriculture. I needed to start a career immediately after my studies and it just happened to be in the agri sector.
6What do you love about agriculture as a space to work in?
I love working with creative and positive people. Though it is sometimes tough, the industry continues to be creative and find new ways of doing things. I also see this as a positive characteristic.
7Don’t be modest, tell us about your proudest career moments?
What comes first to my mind is the day legendary farmer and agri-leader Japie Grobler said to me at the end of a conference I organised: “Thank you for everything you have done to make a success of this event, but what’s more important is – you have also won our hearts”.
8What do you do when you’re not at work?
I work in my flower garden with my 3 dogs (Gunter, Gigi and Pippa) who work just as hard. I also love attending art classes.
9Any advice for young people who are inspired by your career story?
You don’t need to be a farmer to work in agriculture. Just give your best and you will get it back – nothing gets lost when you give it in love.