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Experiential Learning

Experiential learning: Ecuador image from 2022 of students

Preparing AAEC graduates > Beyond the classroom experiences

Experiential learning is the process of learning by doing. By engaging students in hands-on experiences and reflection, they are better able to connect theories and knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world situations.

We offer the following experiences... 

Employment and Internships

  • Whether you're looking for an internship, part-time, or full-time position, AAEC is your destination for career-related information

Student Ambassadors

  • In the spirit of Ut Prosim, our ambassadors take on this role to serve! From answering questions about AAEC classes, inquiries about campus, and hosting prospective students and families visiting campus for the department. These students help students feel reassured and welcomed and assist faculty and staff with student body needs. 

Study Abroad

  • Ecuador: Building Analytical and Global Competencies through Agricultural Research

Summer Internship at Virginia Tech

  • Data Science for the Public Good platform promotes team science, where undergraduates and graduate students collaborate with faculty members to address current social issues locally and nationally. 

Commodity Investing by Students (COINS)

Kohl Centre

  • The Kohl Centre provides students with an opportunity to solidify their knowledge and expand their skillset by engaging stakeholders from around the state, building a professional network, and helping their clients analyze and evaluate alternatives. 

Undergraduate Research

  • Students have opportunities to conduct research with our faculty through independent studies.  Often students work one-on-one with faculty on topics as diverse as managing agricultural price risk to international development and earn academic credit as determined by their advisor.  Undergraduate research often leads to published papers.  

The Clubs

Ag Econ Club

The Ag Econ Club is dedicated to providing an environment of fellowship and leadership in which members pursue professional, educational, social and teamwork development through interaction and cooperation with fellow members, AAEC faculty, alumni, the university, and professional resources to empower themselves with opportunities in the ever-changing fields of agribusiness, agrimarketing, and applied agricultural economics. For more information about the club, contact the current advisors Katie White and Mike Ellerbrock

Collegiate Young Farmers at Virginia Tech

The Collegiate Young Farmers at Virginia Tech is a chapter that provides students interested in agriculture and rural communities leadership, educational, legislative, networking, and social opportunities. The chapter is in association with Virginia Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau Federations.

Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences–Virginia Tech Chapter

The Virginia Tech chapter of MANRRS aims to create a more inclusive atmosphere for students pursuing careers in agriculture, natural resources, or other related fields. The organization fosters leadership among minority students, is active in community service, and provides students with professional development opportunities. Learn more about the Virginia Tech MANRRS chapter. Advisor Chanit'a Holmes

National Agri-Marketing Association

Each year students prepare a marketing plan to compete in the National Agri-Marketing Association competition, which happens every spring. Students begin meeting in the fall to select a product and begin planning. They receive credit in the spring when they attend the NAMA Conference.

Quiz Bowl

AAEC students compete in the annual Academic or Quiz Bowl competition hosted at the Southern Agriculture Economics Association (SAEA) meetings every winter. The double-elimination Jeopardy-like tournament tests the teams on their agriculture economics knowledge. The members prepare by discussing questions, researching, making their own questions, and playing against each other. For more information contact advisor Kurt Stephenson and by visiting the SS-AAEA Academic Bowl website.

In the news:

Bioscience Engineering is organizing the Summer School “Sustainable food systems in a global economy” from May 14 to June 3, 2023.

Students will be able to register for this Summer School through the University of Florida webpage: Programs > International Center (

This study abroad opportunity will take place at Ghent University in Ghent, Belgium, and explores what is meant by sustainable food systems in Belgium, the European Union, and beyond. We will discuss food production, distribution, processing, packaging, marketing, and waste recovery issues through lectures and learning activities. Consideration is given to the policy process within the European Union and how health, economic, engineering, and environmental considerations influence short and long-term sustainability goals. Excursions and case studies illustrate the journey from field to fork in a story based on natural and human systems.

If you have additional questions, please contact Michel Flement (, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering.

Links of interest: