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Internship Story: Addison Randall

Name: Addison Randall

Major: Animal Science and Agricultural Communication

Year: Senior

Hometown/State: Letts, IA

Company/Organization: Elanco Animal Health

Title: Farm Animal Sales Intern - Swine

Location: Ames, IA – traveling across Iowa and into Minnesota and Nebraska

Describe your internship responsibilities:
During my internship with Elanco Animal Health this summer I was able to not only gain valuable knowledge and insight into the animal health industry but also received hands-on experience, mentoring, and professional networking connections through my individual projects. I successfully completed a review of the Swine Business Unit's current fly control offerings to the swine industry which included recommendations for multiple future approaches to enable effective and efficient deployment of suggested programs. This project also allowed me to assist with a large insecticide trial that – through my efforts – led the producer to implement our insecticide protocol at all their sow farms. Additionally, I completed a project surveying the rollout of the Skycis Microtracer launch in feed mills and accelerating the awareness of Microtracer inclusion by communicating and networking with key feed mills and industry partners. My experience in the Swine Business allowed me to understand the most important values of producers: Personalized connection, attentive follow-through, and not being afraid to get your hands dirty to help solve a problem.

What did you enjoy most about this internship?
I truly enjoyed my time interacting with producers and feed mills, learning more about them, their goals, and what problems they had that Elanco may be able to help. I saw sales in a whole new light when I viewed it as more of the question of “what product or service can Elanco provide this producer to help them reach their production goals” instead of “how we convince them to buy Elanco products”. I also enjoyed getting to travel across the Midwest and learn from the highly knowledgeable members of Elanco’s Swine Sales Team!

How has this experience impacted your future career plans?
This internship experience helped me realize that I want an outward facing and interactive communications career in the livestock industry. When I think of those moments that I enjoyed the most, it was when I was talking to and interacting with the amazing people in our industry. I also learned that I appreciate the daily diversity a career like sales provides. I was never doing the same thing twice and every week I was traveling and talking with someone different!

What resources did you utilize to obtain this internship?
I obtained this internship through a conversation and a resume exchange at the CALS Career Fair. I took the time to talk to a representative, explain who I was, why I was interested, and asked some questions about the internship I was interested in. From there they took my resume, called me back to do an interview in the MU, and then invited me out to Greenfield, Indiana to do a final interview.

What advice would you offer to other students seeking similar internships?
I think the biggest thing is to be willing to have a conversation, especially at career fair. Internships like this one are somewhat known to focus on hiring juniors but I would highly encourage students of all classes to visit with employers at career fair. It is always good to get your name out there and even your resume in their hands before your Junior year.