December 4, 2020

Going Out With a Bang: How Emily Campbell is making the most of her last internship

maxyield ag communications internIt might surprise you that an Agricultural (Ag) Studies major from Iowa State University is this year’s Client Relations and Communications intern at MaxYield Cooperative. But Emily Campbell, an ISU junior from Hamlin, Iowa, has used the wide variety of subjects covered in her course of study to her advantage. From agronomy to animal science and communications to economics, the classes and the people of the ag studies major just felt like home to Emily. “I chose [ag studies] because of the diverse, well-rounded educational experience it offered. I also loved the family feel of the Agricultural Education and Studies (AgEdS) Department. It was just the right fit for me and my goals.”

Although she initially planned to be a field sales agronomist, Emily found after her first agronomy class that it was not the path for her. Instead, she found she had a love for communicating and opted to add a public relations minor to her degree. Her love for writing, speaking, and messaging directly translates to the clubs she has been involved in at ISU, including Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, CALS Connections student publication, and the National Agri-Marketing Association club and competition team. She also enjoys helping with AgEdS department transfer orientation events, sharing her passion and knowledge about ISU with newly admitted transfer students.

Arriving at a MaxYield Cooperative internship is actually a journey that started on the third day of Emily’s freshman year. “I first heard about this internship while attending the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Freshman and Transfer BBQ during my first week of my freshman year. Although I enjoyed my visit at MaxYield’s booth, I ended up pursuing a different opportunity for 2018. Then, my good friend Katie Decker had [the Client Relations and Communications] internship last summer. When she returned to ISU in the fall and spoke highly of her experiences at MaxYield Cooperative, I decided to give it a chance.”

It wasn’t her friend’s praise that made MaxYield Emily’s frontrunner internship in the fall, however. Strangely enough, it was actually the interview process that made her realize that MaxYield was the place she wanted to be. “[In the interview,] I wasn’t being asked generic, ‘tell me about a time when’ questions. Instead Chad Meyer, who I interviewed with, really focused on getting to know me and what my interests were to see if the internship was a good fit for me. This showed me everyone at MaxYield really cared about me and my goals before I was even offered the position.”

On any given day, a combination of writing, social media, videography, photography, and recruiting projects are a part of Emily’s agenda, but her favorite part of the job is actually pretty simple. “I love getting to represent MaxYield Cooperative with clients and at a variety of community events. One of the things I do is travel around the trade territory, and sometimes even beyond, to listen to the stories of clients and people who have been positively impacted by MaxYield Cooperative. One week I traveled to local fire departments to present donations from MaxYield for impactful projects, heard from a former MaxYield intern about the tractor he has proudly restored to prepare for the annual tractor calendar, and chatted with our team leaders to learn about how they are marketing their departments both internally and externally. That’s what’s cool about this internship- you’re really focused on learning the story of MaxYield and then retelling it to others in a variety of mediums.”

Emily credits much of her positive intern experience to her mentor, Chad Meyer, the Client Relations and Communications Director at MaxYield. Even in the first few weeks of her internship, Chad was making opportunities available to Emily to explore her interests, try new things, and network. “Chad has positively impacted my intern experience in a number of ways. He has worked for MaxYield for a large part of his career, so he understands how to communicate to cooperative stakeholders and I’ve learned a lot from his expertise. He’s very skilled at handling internal and external matters delicately, assertively, and tactfully all at the same time, so I’ve taken away quite a bit from a public relations aspect, as well. I think the most important, though, is probably the fact that my goals are put ahead of almost everything else. Chad has allowed me to tailor my schedule and intern projects to meet my needs. He has also encouraged me to share my thoughts and ideas, which has made me feel like I’m part of the team at MaxYield.”

Chad has not been the only team member who has made Emily’s MaxYield experience positive. “The most surprising thing about interning at MaxYield Cooperative has definitely been how friendly everyone is. I don’t know too many places where on the second day you can have lunch in the break room next to the CEO and have a conversation about using plastic grocery sacks as lunch bags- which actually happened. The team at MaxYield has made an effort in making sure we all feel like we fit in, and that has made a huge difference in my experience as an intern here.”

“Fulfilling” is the one word Emily feels encompasses her intern experience, and rightfully so. “Everyone wants to do something that matters. At MaxYield I’m not just fetching coffee and opening mail. Here, the work you do matters. Every project, every meeting, and every person makes a difference.”

After she graduates from Iowa State in May 2020, Emily hopes to find a job in public relations and communications at a cooperative, agricultural non-profit/commodity organization, or privately-held seed company in Iowa. She would also like to stay somewhat involved in her family’s 5th generation row crop operation in rural Audubon County. Wherever she goes, she knows her intern experience this summer will help her reach her full potential. “Everything you do at MaxYield impacts someone, including yourself. The growth you experience in the internship program is phenomenal, as are the people you meet. If you intern at MaxYield Cooperative you will not regret your experience!”


For more information on MaxYield’s internship program, including communications, grain accounting/finance, soil sampling/crop scouting, and agronomy sales, check out Applications for 2020 internship positions will be posted later this summer!

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