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An Unforgettable Experience

By: Hannah Gideon

Amidst the course of my internship at Agrilead, there have been various experiences, projects, and opportunities I’ve partaken in. Each of them has helped me develop essential skills that I will need to pursue my dreams. The three major projects that I did include a grow-out study, visiting Alice Hill, and making a report on a book I read.

In the grow-out study, my task was to research which treatment was the best for each plant. What I mean by treatment is the coating of the seed that helps the plant germinate and produce the best-looking plant it can. In order to find the best one, I had to take pictures of them every day, pull randomly selected plants out every 10 days to record measurements, and then compare each treatment at the end. Believe it or not, by the last couple of weeks, the results were pretty close! Of course, you end up having a couple stand out more than others, but they were very comparable overall.

While doing that, I also paid a visit to Alice Hill. She is a phenomenal woman who strives to make a community more locally based. In fact, she does this by gardening! At Step Back in Time Food Market, Alice and many others sell their produce, baked goods, and much more. This way they can help keep food local and help improve their community. After that, I ended up making a PowerPoint presentation on everything that I learned while there.

In the meantime when I didn’t have much to do, I was reading “The Complete Guide to Restoring Your Soil” by Dale Strickler, a former Agrilead employee. The book is a necessity for anyone who is looking to enhance their gardens and farms. It explains why some common methods of farming are doing more harm than good. I really enjoyed it and the PowerPoint that I had to make over it.

When I was not doing a major project, I typically had smaller things to do. Some examples of this are a wheat project, meeting a K-State (Kansas State University) extension agent, and assisting anyone when needed. Even though these seemed pretty small, they gave plenty of opportunities to learn and have fun. This also let me improve my networking skills by getting to know many others.

I also wanted to say that in my experience, I made many mistakes and learned to improve from them. In one of my previous blogs named ‘Golden Mistakes’, I highlighted one of the biggest mistakes that I’ve made in my internship. While doing my wheat project, I dropped my scissors in the middle of the field because I left them in my back pocket. This made it so I could not cut an extra sample due to the weather that day. Since then, I’ve been sure to stay more organized and it has significantly improved my time spent finding materials.

Last, but not least I have achieved all 3 goals I had set in the beginning.

First off, I achieved my main goal in communication. As many know, communication is the best thing you can have at work. That is why my goal was to talk to my co-workers every day and explain what I would be doing. Every day, I communicated with my boss and co-workers so we all knew what was going on. This will be essential to have in any job!

My second goal was about leadership. I wanted to show many people in my school that the internship is not as hard as they think! Since I will be an OC Alumni, I will be able to help provide input to hopefully shift my school’s vision of OC Internships. This is because many there believe it is too much work, but in reality, it isn’t that difficult!

The final goal I set was professional networking. I wanted to improve the range of my professional network and meet as many people as I could! Working at Agrilead made this very easy to achieve because you have multiple people coming in daily that you could meet. I will say that sometimes this was a little difficult when I was busy with multiple projects, but that is no different than any work life.

To end with, I really enjoyed being an OC Intern. As stated above, I hope people realize that being an intern is well worth it! If I have the opportunity, I would be glad to do another internship here.

Thank you for reading and have an excellent day!