Allie Ferguson Internship

Allie Ferguson
New Sharon, IA
Richard Armstrong Consulting, Crop Scout
Owatonna, MN

Describe your internship responsibilities:
Throughout the summer of 2013 I scouted 25,000 acres of corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and sweet corn.  My internship responsibilities consisted of performing soil samples, calculating stand counts, and summarizing scouting reports to communicate to the individual growers.  I also had the opportunity to attend field days where I was able to network with professionals in the agronomic industry.

What did you enjoy most about this internship?
I enjoyed several aspects of my internship at Richard Armstrong Consulting.  I enjoyed most the opportunity to work with someone with as much knowledge as Rich Armstrong.  Rich challenged me to develop myself both personally and professionally.  I was given the opportunities to meet with several growers who valued the information I was giving them.  I felt like my work with Rich had purpose and that allowed me to fully engage in the tasks at hand.  

How has this experience impacted your future career plans?
My summer experience with Rich impacted my future career plans immensely.  First, it showed me that I was on the right career path, as well as strengthened my passion for the industry.  Also, my internship experiences outlined my strengths as well as my weaknesses.  This is an important impact for my future career because it helped me determine what positions I am more likely to excel at. 

What resources did you utilize to obtain this internship?
There were several resources available that helped me obtain my internship.  I started by attending the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Fair.  I also utilized the Career Services Director, Mike Gaul.  I shared my future goals with Mike and he suggested some potential internship opportunities that he felt would be a good fit for my major, goals, and career aspirations.

What advice would you offer to other students seeking similar internships?
My advice to other students seeking internships, especially freshman, is to get outside your comfort zone.  Don’t be afraid to go away from home for the summer or take a job that requires learning new skills.  Look at it as an opportunity to develop yourself both personally and professionally. If you do this as a freshman, it will show future employers that you truly are willing to relocate for the right position.  This is important to many employers.  It will also help you grow as a person.  I gained so much confidence by leaving home and learning to navigate a new job and community.  It gave me the confidence to look at relocation as an opportunity for growth and adventure.  Another piece of advice to remember is that you get out of an internship exactly what you put into it.  Go to work each day with a positive attitude and give it your all.  If at the end of the day you can say that you did the best you could do then I guarantee you will have a positive internship experience.  You will come away from the summer feeling accomplished and more prepared for your future career.