Ashlee Hespen Internship

Ashlee Hespen
Double Major in Public Service and Administration in Agriculture and Journalism and Mass Communications
Conrad, IA
Agriculture Future of America (AFA) --- Marketing and Communications Intern
Kansas City, MO

Describe your internship responsibilities:

During my internship, I held a variety of responsibilities related to the communications field.  Part of my internship consisted of writing, including press releases, website spotlight features and a 2-page magazine article.  I learned how to use a content management system for the website and was involved in AFA’s social media tactics.  Additionally, I was able to work on my design skills through creation of a logo for an intern network and a bookmark for the AFA Leaders Conference.  I worked on a variety of other projects and had networking opportunities allowed to me throughout the summer.  It was extremely rewarding to be able to be involved with such a variety of projects and expand my skills and knowledge in these areas.


What did you enjoy most about this internship?

I enjoyed working with such a passionate team of individuals who are working every day to develop the professional and personal skills of the next generation of agriculture leaders.  The staff truly wants to better college-aged students, and it was rewarding to work with these individuals.  I also got to interact with many of these college-aged students who are driven to make a difference in the agriculture field.


How has this experience impacted your future career plans?

The skills and knowledge I gained through this internship reinforced my goals of working for an agriculture entity related to the communications and marketing.  It’s an exciting time to be in the agriculture field, with new opportunities awaiting our generation.


What resources did you utilize to obtain this internship?

I had heard about AFA earlier in my collegiate career, but was unable to participate in their annual AFA Leaders Conference due to conflicts with marching band.  I heard about this internship opportunity during the fall through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Services and continued to pursue this opportunity.  I would encourage all students to visit the Career Services office as they search for professional experiences.


What advice would you offer to other students seeking similar internships?

There are a lot of opportunities to capitalize on throughout your collegiate career and it’s important to start seeking these opportunities early in your college years.  Attending the CALS Career Fair and visiting the Career Services Office are important first steps.  Additionally, find ways to get involved on campus, whether in your major, clubs and work opportunities.  These experiences will make you a well-rounded candidate when it comes time to interview for internships and jobs.