Internships are big, very big, in the College of Ag. More than half of our undergraduates earn college credit for at least one internship during their academic careers. Several degree programs require them.
Our kids land these internships (some paid, some not) with pluck, creativity, and follow-through—the same skills they’ll need when they pursue full-time, permanent work after they graduate.
Internships generally require full work weeks, periodic accounting to a faculty mentor, and a “product” at the end—an oral or written report or a portfolio.
The rewards are sweet. “It’s expedient,” says Preeti Joshi, internship coordinator and faculty member in the Department of Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles. “A lot of them get jobs out of this.”
“It’s putting learning into practice, and they get a chance to find out if the work is really for them,” said Larry Jones, associate dean for academic programs.
Our students intern in all sorts of jobs across Kentucky, the nation, and even overseas. The Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service employs the most interns—25 this past summer.
So, if you ask a College of Ag student “How did you spend your summer vacation?” you just might be surprised—and impressed—by the answer.
~ Martha Jackson
We mow, trim, edge, weed. I learned a lot about working with equipment, and when and how to seed and fertilize. The landscaping is new to me.
My goal is to be a head groundskeeper for the NFL or a major league baseball team. It’s competitive, so an internship like this helps me to network.
I worked four years in grounds at UK and interned two summers with the Boston Red Sox.
I do it because I love it. I like being outside. The heat doesn’t bother me. I just put on sunscreen.
The senior in Plant and Soil Sciences from Frankfort interned in grounds for Hamilton County, Ohio, at Paul
Brown Stadium, home
of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Extension’s always fascinated me.
I work with the ag agent, Mike Smith. We do a lot of work with neighboring counties, like the beef field day we had.
I visited 20 farmers in the county to see what kinds of inputs and products they use on their soybeans. We’ll do averages for the county and see how Henderson’s numbers compare to UK’s recommendations and to what other counties are doing.
I also work with the horticulture agent (Jeff Porter) making home visits, and I’ve learned about landscaping, which was new to me.
I know better how to talk to people I’d never met. I’ve learned a lot.
I’m a lab tech. I do all kinds of things—test raw milk, make sure our equipment is clean before we use it, add cultures to yogurt, test the percentage of butterfat in milk, check for milk freshness.
My advisor, Clair Hicks, suggested I apply. I sent in a resume with his letter of recommendation, and I was hired.
I get to see in action all the things I learned in school. It helps that I know some of the science behind what’s going on (in the lab). The most surprising thing is the difference access to technology makes in industry.
I absolutely love my co-workers. It’s a great environment. My boss respects me, asks my opinion. That means a lot.
The senior food sciences major from Union County has interned twice at Winchester Farms Dairy in Winchester, Kentucky.
I am working with a territory sales manager at Monsanto, National Brands, shadowing him in visits with dealers and growers.
My territory focus for the summer is corn and cotton. I do market surveys and gather data to formulate a territory analysis along with testimonials from growers and dealers about their experiences. As an intern for Monsanto, I feel that my professional development skills are being refined so I can advance my career after college.
I met Monsanto’s internship coordinator at the Agriculture Futures of America Conference, which I learned about through the College of Agriculture Office of Diversity. I sent in my resume, had a phone interview, and a month later, I was notified that I had gotten the position.
I just love it in Houston, where there are so many opportunities.
The ag economics senior
from Louisville interned
at Monsanto in Houston.
As a tour guide, I lead groups of up to 30 people into the cave. I teach them how caverns are formed, and about the underground ecosystem (such as eyeless crayfish and bats).
I also manage the bakery in our pioneer village, which includes taking inventory every Monday and helping to train new hires about food health, safety, and hospitality.
I get to meet people from all over the world, and my co-workers are all like family.
It’s a great internship; I feel like I’ve learned so much. After graduation, I want to work in small park management or environmental education.
The junior from Meade County majoring in Natural Resource Environmental Science interned at Squire Boone Caverns in Corydon, Indiana.
I intern at the Betsey Johnson Showroom in New York City. I love being surrounded by sequins and crinoline; it’s exciting and always fun—it’s where many of the photo shoots and design meetings take place! My duties include marketing and the upkeep of the social media outlets on the web.
Over winter break, I researched internships and found out about Betsey Johnson and the company. I was very passionate about working here when I read about what the company had to offer. After doing a phone interview, I was offered the internship about a week later.
The most exciting part of New York City is the realization that I can do anything if I believe in myself.
The junior from Lexington
majoring in Merchandising,
Apparel, and Textiles interned
with the design firm of Betsey Johnson.
My parents are agricultural missionaries, and I was born in Zimbabwe. As a boy, the African bush was like my second home. I’m working in southern Kenya as a volunteer coordinator for African Impact on the Naboisho Conservancy. We hope to help not only the fantastic wildlife here but also the Maasai community that lives around the conservancy. What a beautiful place I am in!
The noises that sound from the bush every night while I go to sleep are phenomenal. Every night elephants walk next to my tent and rumble and trumpet as I go to bed.
I see one of my main purposes as setting up a bridge between the spectacular Maasai people and UK. It could really change a lot of students’ lives. I’m also beginning to see potential job opportunities open up as I begin to plan for my future. Coming back home was what I needed to set me on the right track.
The sophomore majoring in
Natural Resource and Conservation
Management works for African Impact,
an organization through which tourists
volunteer in sustainability-focused projects
in Southern and East Africa.