Students at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources did big things this summer. From conducting research in Germany, to traveling for Monsanto, from working on a sea turtle reservation in Costa Rica, to interning in the community relations department for the St. Louis Cardinals, our interns were all over the map.
Soil, environmental and atmospheric science senior Ben Kreitner conducted research with Universität Hamburg in northern Germany. This is part of a German Exchange scholarship for research in science and engineering. His project involved measuring carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from a restored peatland, wetlands with a thick water-logged organic soil layer (peat) made up of dead and decaying plant material. The focus was on vascular plants that can transport methane directly from the subsoil to the atmosphere — bypassing the soil surface where it would otherwise be converted to carbon dioxide. The plant composition of a peatland can alter the emission or sequestration of carbon. This information can be used for managing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Karl Krause, hospitality management junior, interned at Davanti Enoteca, an Italian Restaurant located in “Little Italy” in downtown Chicago. Originally from Kansas City, Mo., Chicago was quite a different scene for Krause.
“Being in Chicago for the summer was a great experience,” Krause said. “I learned so much and had the luxury of meeting some great contacts, one of which was the Chicago Blackhawks’ personal trainer. I also had the pleasure of taking care of CAFNR’s very own chef Leslie Jett and Melissa Daniels when they were in the big city. Go CAFNR!”
Sonja Gjerde, science and agricultural journalism senior, interned with Monsanto as a field sales intern with Channel Seed. Grower calls, field checkups and a marketing analysis kept Gjerde busy. Her field experiences this summer prepared her for real situations she may face in her future career. She hopes to use these experiences to work in the seed industry upon her May 2014 graduation.
Animal sciences senior Emily Stabler worked on the olive ridley sea turtle conservation in Ostional, Costa Rica, for a month this summer. The Ostional Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica was created in 1984 to protect more important nesting sites of the olive ridley sea turtle. Its purpose is to assist in beach cleanup, hatching release, nest protection, environmental education and other activities promoting turtle conservation, specifically leatherback and olive ridley sea turtles .
The data collection is passed on to a scientific advisory board to provide ministry of environment officers the tools they need to manage the egg harvest program. From 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. every night her team would go on patrol to look for nesting mother turtles. Once found, they measured the carapace length and width (dorsal section of an exoskeleton or shell), flipper length and width, time the number of eggs laid, how many laid, then tag the turtles and record the activity time, zone and appearance. During the day, her team would clean the beach and work sifting sand at the hatchery making sure to keep it oxygenated.
“The experience was unforgettable and I am already in the process of trying to figure out a way in which I can return next summer,” Stabler said.
Lynette Meacham, parks, recreation and tourism senior, was busy interning for Cardinals Care & Community Relations Department with the St. Louis Cardinals. Cardinals Care is the charitable arm of the St. Louis Cardinals. Cardinals Community Relations Department and Cardinals Care are dedicated to caring for kids.
“I was afforded the opportunity to meet former Cardinals players and coaches, such as Lou Brock, Whitey Herzog, John Costello and more, through our Redbird Rookies little league clinics and golf tournament,” Meacham said. “I also met current players, such as Jon Jay, Shane Robinson and Chris Carpenter, through field visits that I conducted before the start of home games and hospital visits.”
CAFNR Career Services provides resources to help students prepare to apply for internships, from resume review to mock interviews. They recognize career development as a lifelong process and are committed to helping students think about the future and work to make that future a reality.
CAFNR Career Services also offer workshops and online resources to help with resume writing, salary negotiations and networking; career days where recruiters are brought in to meet with students in an open setting; presentations by industry leaders right on campus; tours where students can visit employers; a step-by-step online plan for individual professional and personal development; and links to job and internship opportunities on www.HireMizzouTigers.com.
“Internships are important for the job search experience,” said Whitney Kinne, assistant director of Career Services. “It is a great way to gain experiences with specialized skills, networking and work ethic. Employers see internships as kind of an extended interview for a full-time job; same with students.”
Syngenta recruits from MU as one of their top schools. Syngenta is an agribusiness company providing two main types of products; seeds and crop protection, including herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and professional products. According to Syngenta.com, Syngenta is one of the world’s leading companies with more than 27,000 employees in some 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life.
“Students from CAFNR tend to stand out from other interns because they possess softer skills, the kind that cannot be found on a resume,” said Alan Shepard, talent acquisition lead at Syngenta. “The students in CAFNR really seem to fit into the culture at Syngenta.
“Confidence is so different in a student after the internship,” Shepard said. “The interns act as though they are at the first day of school during orientation. After they complete the internship, the confidence in their selves and the company is amazing.”