With summer fast approaching, Iowa State students are looking forward to expanding their knowledge through internships and taking advantage of a hands-on learning experience outside of the classroom.
Two students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Jake Sterle, junior in animal science, and Megan Warin, junior in agricultural business, are excited to dive headfirst into their respective internship opportunities.
Sterle will be spending five weeks in Rome through the Dean’s Agriculture Food and Leadership Program. There, he will be on a team of five students working with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on the EAT-Lancet report. For the rest of his summer he will be working on a reproductive conservation project at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska.
Warin will be working for Helena Agri-Enterprise as an agronomy sales intern based out of Springfield, Kentucky. She will be doing chemical sales to cooperatives spanning an area from Indianapolis, Indiana, down to Louisville, Kentucky, and into southern Illinois.
Both said they used the art of networking and previous internship experiences to obtain their positions. Mike Gaul, director of career placement for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said networking is one of the most powerful job search tools one can use.
“College is really about making connections and learning the art of networking,” Gaul said.
Gaul also said he believes internships are an essential part to the college experience as it aids students with their search for their ideal career. He and his colleagues within Iowa State’s decentralized career services offices help make students' aspirations a reality by setting up large career fair days in the fall and spring. They also provide one-on-one consultations working with resume building and identifying specific companies and internships of interest to the student.
Warin and Sterle are students who have taken advantage of the career services office and seen positive results from it.
“[Gaul is] a good support system because even if you don’t have a question for him but just tell him what you’re doing, he’ll support you and give you praise,” Warin said.
Gaul encourages students to utilize every summer they are in school to take their search seriously as it could lead to potential career opportunities in the future.
Sterle said he grew from previous internship experience and wants to continue to learn more in different opportunities to widen his scope for his career pathway.
“Go into each internship knowing it’s going to be a learning experience,” Sterle said.
Warin is also looking forward to growing in a new position in a setting away from what she is used to here in Iowa. She said that her past internship really set her up for this upcoming summer and she is excited to further her learning.
“It’s a learning experience as an intern, so it’s ok to ask questions and be open to new opportunities,” Warin said.