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Internship Story: Jessica Woodall

Name: Jessica Woodall

Major: Agricultural Business

Year: Sophomore 

Hometown/State: Kamrar, IA

Company/Organization: Cargill

Title: Grain Operations Management Intern

Location: Tipton, IN

Describe your internship responsibilities:
This past summer (2022) I had the opportunity to work for Cargill at one of their grain elevators.  In Tipton, they handle commodity corn, soybeans, and wheat as well as both Non-GMO corn and soybeans.  The three main projects I worked on this summer included transferring safety data into a user-friendly program to simplify employee utilization, creating a facility profile book for the east region plants, and constructing an excel of the inventory on the critical pathways at the plant I was at. 

Along with these projects I also spent my time doing various day-to-day tasks. This consisted of working in the control room, grading grain, loading trucks and trains, sealing train cars, and much more smaller tasks.  At the end of my internship, I had the opportunity to present a final presentation to other interns in my region and to upper Cargill employees. 

What did you enjoy most about this internship?
During this internship I enjoyed exploring the state of Indiana and learning more about how Cargill plays a role in the grain industry.  I was able to connect with several other interns while attending an intern forum event at the Cargill headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as connecting with Cargill employees through Microsoft Teams.  One of my favorites aspects of this internship was the ability to travel between five plants in the East region that covers three states.

How has this experience impacted your future career plans?
This internship allowed me to gain better knowledge of the grain industry and allowed me to see what I want within a company that I work for in the future.  I want to work for a company that values each of their employees and wants to continually help their employees grow in their role.  I have enjoyed getting to see how there are so many opportunities within one company. 

What resources did you utilize to obtain this internship?
I was able to secure this internship through connections I made during a mock interview and with a representative at the career fair.  Being a part of the New Member Engagement Committee allowed me to participate in a mock interview with a representative from Cargill.  At the career fair the following week, I was able to connect with the Cargill representative to learn more about the company and the positions offered.  The CALS career fair allowed me to meet one-on-one and to learn values and what opportunities were available through Cargill. 

What advice would you offer to other students seeking similar internships?One piece of advice I would give would be to never doubt yourself.  Set big goals and do as much as you can to reach them.  As a first-year student, I didn’t think I had much of an opportunity to receive this internship, but after being confident in myself and taking feedback from my peers, I was able to land an amazing internship. Although I was told “no” many times, I never gave up and kept applying for several opportunities along the way.