Major: Agricultural Business
Company/Organization: Land O'Lakes (Virtual, Keota, Iowa)
Title: Global Food Challenge Emerging Leader
Describe your position & duties.
As a Global Food Challenge intern, I worked with two of the six emerging leaders from my team on a project assigned by Land O’Lakes. These projects vary from year to year, but this year my team partnered with Venture 37 to work on a business development project exploring partnership opportunities. Venture 37 is an international development non-profit that is highly affiliated with Land O’Lakes. Most of my days were spent researching these partnership opportunities in order to expand Venture 37’s scope. When I was not working on my project, I spent a lot of time connecting with other employees within Land O’Lakes and getting a broader perspective on all the aspects of the company.
What did you like about your internship?
My favorite part of my internship was the sense of community that was still cultivated even in a virtual environment. While I spent most days physically by myself, I spent a lot of time on calls with my team of six interns, which allowed us to bond. My team was so inspirational and supportive in every way possible, which made it enjoyable to wake up and “see” them every day.
What are some classes or experiences that helped prepare you for your internship?
Networking events through my clubs and organization were most beneficial in preparing for my internship. While my classes taught me a lot about how to learn and adapt to new environments, networking events taught me how to form meaningful connections with people. A lot of my internship was based on talking to people and forming those relationships, so having events on campus beforehand that allowed me to practice these types of conversations proved very helpful.
Was your internship impacted by Covid-19? How so?
Originally my internship was supposed to be based at headquarters in Arden Hills, Minnesota. We would have spent two weeks in Africa learning more about international agriculture and work Land O’Lakes does globally. We also would have spent a week in Washington, D.C., to experience government relations and policy and another week would have been spent at a local co-op around the Midwest. My internship shifted from a twelve-week experience to an eight-week virtual format. Although the program underwent a lot of changes, it was still a great summer and I am very thankful for the opportunity Land O’Lakes has given me.