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Department of Agricultural Economics

Internship Experiences

Summer 2014 Internships

Explain the basics of your internship.


Frederick Kerr: I worked with Monsanto in Plainview, Texas, from May 21st to August 1st. I dealt with cotton, whether in the seed testing lab or in the field.  

Kooper O'Brien: My internship with Agrex Inc. in Olathe, Kansas, lasted June 1st to July 31st. I mostly saw the corporate scene, though I did get to travel to other Agrex Inc. to experience other sides of the company. 

Sebastian Silvera: I traveled down to Brazil from June 1st through July 31st to intern with Cotton Distributors Inc. My responsibilities varied from proofreading contracts to calculating prices.

Arissa Moyer: I was in Pratt, Kansas, at High Plains Farm Credit from June 2nd- August 8th. I learned a lot about agricultural lending through this experience.

Katie Campbell: My internship at the North American Limousin Foundation lasted May 26th through August 15th. I was headquartered in Colorado, where I worked with the Jr. Board a lot and went to many Limousin shows.

Taylor Peterson: I was an intern from May to August at John Deere in the Media Relations Department.

Pedro Masi: I spent June and July as an intern at Agro.Icone in Brazil researching bioenergy.

Jake Ohlde: From June 1st to July 31st, I interned at Mid Kansas Cooperative in the agronomy and grain units; this involved a lot of hands on work. 

What was your favorite part about the internship?


Frederick Kerr: Growing up in Kansas/Missouri, it was nice working further away from home, in Texas, and learning about the production of cotton, which is a crop I was unfamiliar with going into the internship.

Kooper O'Brien: My favorite part about my internship was being able to work hands on as a commodity merchandiser and apply some of the information I have learned in courses here at K-State.  

Sebastian Silvera: I did my internship in Brazil so the best part of my internship was visiting a different country and learning how business is done differently.

Arissa Moyer: My favorite part of my internship was gaining hands-on experience that I can apply to a career in agricultural finance in the future. 

Katie Campbell: My favorite part about working with the North American Limousin Foundation was all the traveling. I was able to travel to all the junior shows throughout the country and I always got the opportunity to do some sight-seeing. I had to do a lot of projects throughout the summer and my favorite one was planning our first leadership conference that we hosted with the American Gelbvieh Junior Association.

Taylor Peterson: Learning more about the creative and event planning side of marketing as well as meeting a lot of skilled individuals within the industry.   

Pedro Masi: My favorite part about the internship was that it encouraged me to keep pushing myself harder and expand my knowledge base.

Jake Ohlde: I liked that my internship involved a lot of hands-on work that is not found in a classroom. It was also cool to work both the grain and agronomy side of the company. 

Why do you recommend other students have an internship?


Frederick Kerr: You gain work experience, transferable skills, confidence, motivation, and work habit. Internships enable you to take your career plan for a test drive and employers increasingly see their internship programs as the best path for entry level candidates.

Kooper O'Brien: Internships allow students to test the waters and see if the career path they have chosen is something they want to do for the rest of their lives. Also, they allow students to not fully commit to a company because it isn't necessarily a full time job, but rather a preview of what is to come. 

Sebastian Silvera: I encourage students to get an internship at any point during their college career because it will teach them outside classroom material.

Arissa Moyer: An internship is a great way apply knowledge from the classroom and  gain additional skills. Some additional skills I learned are the steps that are taken to complete a loan papers and analyze a variety of financial statements. I built basic knowledge about diverse agriculture operations and learned how to complete a field report (valuing equipment and other assets).

Katie Campbell: It gives you an opportunity to figure out what you like and don't like to do. I love to travel and this internship gave me that opportunity. The internship wasn't related to my major but it gave me a chance to branch out and learn a lot of things that I hadn't learned in class.

Taylor Peterson: You get a first hand look at what your interests are and what field is best suited for you.

Pedro Masi: Internships provide countless opportunities to enhance skills, for instance in all my projects, I researched costs, prices, profit objectives and the value chain process. Things like this will give you a foundation for the future.

Jake Ohlde: Internships vary a lot in terms of location and duties. I encourage internships because they can give you a taste of your future preferences: do you want to work inside or outside, etc.



What would you pass onto future/current students, alumni or employers?


Frederick Kerr: I have benefited from my past internship experiences in a number of ways but most importantly I have gained connections and built my network stronger within the company, which has given me a full time job opportunity for when I graduate this May.

Kooper O'Brien: Advice for freshman and sophomores, you're never too young to do an internship. Go to all career fairs and do as many interviews as possible because the more you do the easier it is in the end

Sebastian Silvera: Some internships, like mine, didn't pay a salary nor cover costs of housing and other living expenses, but these types of internships will help you to develop professional skills and their returns will certainly come in the future.

Arissa Moyer: Internships give you the ability to develop yourself professionally. You get to see many sides of an industry and get practice in a business setting.

Katie Campbell: I received this internship through the connections I have made through the Limousin association so I encourage students to take all the networking opportunities they can get. You never know when it'll benefit you in the future.

Taylor Peterson: I encourage taking as many opportunities as possible and getting a broad range of experiences. This helps to see your fit within the industries and what your interests really are.

Pedro Masi: Be patient and persevere in your tasks. Sometimes frustrations come along that easily discourage you, but it is about getting past those situations that really gives you the exprience that employers are looking for.

Jake Ohlde: Internships are what takes you above and beyond the classroom, and that is why they are key.


Employer's Prospective


Derek Betcher, Marketing Manager, John Deere —

Tasks "During the summer of 2013 we assigned Taylor [Peterson] a variety of projects designed to help build John Deere brand awareness with key accounts and increase sales to independent rental companies.   Her work had a special focus on large local and regional rental businesses with strong purchasing power but limited John Deere presence in their rental fleets."

Growth "We gave Taylor work that included a lot of customer contact, and it introduced her to the opportunities and complexities of doing business in a broad, multi-functional company... Your ability to create customer value and present John Deere as a partner and a solutions provider depends in part on how well you can work behind the scenes to do things like build business case, plan and budget, align with strategy, get support from stakeholders, and then execute the project plan.  Taylor grew successfully at all these things.  Analytical skills and Excel proficiency are two areas I think she grew the most."

Internship Benefits "It’s good to see interns cement their maturity, grow their business skills and their professionalism, improve their adaptability and resourcefulness.  It’s really rewarding to see them build their ideas of what they want to do with their careers.  Our intern program gives students exposure to our company so they can make well-informed decisions about whether to pursue full time employment in our company and our industries."

Expectations "Interns are expected to complete projects of moderate complexity and impact that can help us achieve our business goals.  The people side of the business is equally, if not more, important... We can see in practice the candidate’s flexibility, maturity, work habits and demeanor, many things that go beyond just a resume."

Derek supervised Taylor during her Summer 2013 Internship in John Deere's Rental Marketing department