Josie McQuillen Internship

Josie McQuillen
Agricultural and Life Sciences Education
Cascade, IA
American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), Marketing and Communication Intern
Amarillo, TX

Describe your internship responsibilities:

My responsibilities with AQHA were as follows:

  • Be at work 8am-5pm, five days a week
  • Write informative press release for the association’s website
  • Write the 2014 AQHA Convention Awards Banquet Script
  • Collaborate with the marketing team on a weekly basis
  • Responsible for all social media associated with Quarter Horse Outfitters
  • Personal project of developing a news letter for office collaboration


What did you enjoy most about this internship?
What I enjoyed most about my internship with AQHA was the people I met and the connections I made.  Everyone was caring and always interested on asking how I was doing and if I was adjusting well.  I loved going to work on Mondays because it felt like I was seeing my family again!  I also loved how our marketing and communication team was truly a team and I believe that is why we worked so well together.  From day one everyone on the team had been great about offering constructive criticism to make me better.  I appreciated this very much because often it could have been faster or easier for one of them to just go do it themselves and not have to explain to me.

How has this experience impacted your future career plans?
I loved working for AQHA and there was not one day I dreaded going to work.  The people and atmosphere made the workspace enjoyable and upbeat.  However, I have decided that I want to stick with my Agricultural Education teacher certification option degree, because I am very passionate about FFA and I love interacting with students.  I feel that interacting with students and educating about agriculture are two of my strengths, so I want to go out and use them to the best of my abilities!

What resources did you utilize to obtain this internship?
My whole life I have been connected and shown horses for the American Quarter Horse Association and I have also been a subscriber to the Association’s magazine, The American Quarter Horse Journal.  Throughout this involvement I was highly aware they had internship opportunities as a marketing & communication intern and a publications intern.  As a typical College of Agriculture and Life Sciences student, fall semester for me was dedicated to finding that dream summer internship and I had kind of forgotten about AQHA’s opportunities with all of the other opportunities ISU’s career fair offers.  However, when I received an e-mail forward from Mike about the AQHA internship for the spring I knew that was my dream internship and I had to apply.

Also, I learned a lot from my two years at Iowa State that helped me be successful throughout the internship.  From day one at Iowa State I was hammered with professional development tips and advice starting with Dr. Retallick’s AgEds 110 class to meetings with Mike Gaul, etiquette dinners and Sigma Alpha professional meetings.  All of these classes, meetings and events not only helped me receive the internship but they were also used daily with knowing how to dress properly, how to act during lunch meetings, proper professional wording in e-mails etc.

What advice would you offer to other students seeking similar internships?
My advice to other students seeking internships similar to mine would be to go after those dream internships and be willing to branch out of your comfort zone.  As a sophomore I thought I had no chance at getting the internship with AQHA, but I tried anyways.  Also, I would advise students to test out the longer internships if they are willing to take a semester off of college.