November 28, 2020

Smart Moves: 3 Tips for Internship Success from a Former MaxYield Intern

When Emily Campbell was growing up on her family’s southwest Iowa farm, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture. By the time she was a student at Iowa State University, she was open to going where she found the best internship opportunities.

In her case, that meant moving more than 100 miles away from home to work at MaxYield Cooperative, first as an intern in the summer of 2019, and now as a full-time talent recruitment and communications specialist. As she works with high schools, colleges and universities through MaxYield’s recruiting efforts, she offers students her top 3 tips to help them find the right internship and full-time job:

  1. Don’t have preconceived ideas of what the “ideal” company might be. Make a list of things that are most important to you in an internship or full-time job. Consider company culture, company size, type of work, opportunities for advancement, salary and benefits, geographic location, continuing education opportunities, etc. Then look at companies that can help you meet your goals. “Ask yourself why you want to work for a certain company,” Campbell said. Is it just the prestige of the company’s name, or the salary? Does the company fit your working style and learning style? “Sometimes students get so caught up in wanting to work for a specific company that they don’t consider other good companies that would fit their goals better,” Campbell said. “You don’t want to miss a golden opportunity that’s right for you.”
  2. Find a mentor. The best internships match students with mentors who help them learn. “I can’t overemphasize the value of a mentor to guide you,” Campbell said. “Mentors can teach you a lot, plus they make it easier for you to build relationships with other team members and other ag professionals.”
  3. Grow your network. Getting to know your team members can make it easier to adjust when you move to a new community to start an internship or full-time job. “Since I moved to northern Iowa, it has been easier to make connections with local people when I say I work for MaxYield or mention some of the people I work with,” Campbell said. “This helps me answer the question, ‘Who are you?’ and helps me build even more relationships in my new community.”

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