Name: Erin Chalupa
Major: Agriculture Communications and Animal Science
Year: Freshman summer (going on sophomore)
Hometown/State: Keota, IA
Company/Organization: Crop Production Services (now Nutrien Ag Solutions)
Title: Crop Scouting Intern
Location: Keswick, IA
Describe your internship responsibilities:
I started out as a crop scouting intern. I would go out to fields and make scouting reports to give back to my boss and the crop farmers. I also took tissue and soil samples for growers. As the summer went on, I started picking up more responsibilities. I created and ran the CPS social media pages, helped office staff with paperwork, and started some of my own research projects. The interns were also responsible for going to frequent intern meetings and trainings where we would learn more, get projects to do and report back to our dealers. I also did ride-alongs with salesmen, dealers, and applicators. You could do pretty much anything if you asked.
What did you enjoy most about this internship?
When I applied for this internship, my main goal was to learn more about the crop industry so that I had a better understanding for conversational, promotional, and other purposes. Something that I enjoyed this summer is that I got just what I was looking for! Throughout my time scouting, going to the trainings, and talking to other interns, I learned a lot about crops from the time they go into the ground until harvest. I also liked that it was very flexible and self-lead, so you could get out of it what you wanted to. For example, I was interested in media and communication, so my boss let me start social media pages. I also liked how I got the opportunity to talk to a lot of farmers and employers around the state which was a great networking opportunity.
How has this experience impacted your future career plans?
This internship made my future plans even more bright! Working at CPS opened up a whole new array of career options that I could do in the future. As I said earlier, I had the chance to network with many employers. It also made me a more confident speaker and more knowledgeable about the crop industry for future promotional experiences.
What resources did you utilize to obtain this internship?
Iowa State has many resources to offer to obtain an internship. I used to ISU Career website to see that CPS was going to be at the fall career fair. Then, I researched about their internships and found the ones close to my home. After that, I emailed the contact source some information including my resume and cover letter, so they knew me before career fair. Then, I visited them at career fair and not long after that, we interviewed and sealed the deal!
What advice would you offer to other students seeking similar internships?
One big piece of advice that I would have is to connect with recruiters before you meet them at career fair. I connected with many, but I didn’t with some, and the ones that I connected with went so much more smoothly and we could get into real conversation quicker. Also, I would do your research on who is going to be at career fair and get to know the businesses instead of going in blind. Lastly, be open to anything! I did not think I would be working at a crop business at all, but that it what I got accepted into, so I took it, and I am so glad! Any work experience can be good if you make the best out of it and take what you need from the opportunity.