November 25, 2020

ASHLEY SMEBY – Communications Intern

Ashley SmebyAshley Smeby admits that she was a little leery of working in the cooperative world after an unstructured internship at a cooperative last summer didn’t help her reach her goals.

“I wanted to learn something new, however, and I’d heard good things about MaxYield,” said Smeby, 19, an agronomy/international agricultural relations major from Garner who is starting her sophomore year at Iowa State University (ISU). “It has been a really great experience.”

Q: What inspired you to study agriculture in college?
A: I was raised on a swine and crop farm near Garner and grew up riding with my dad in the tractor. I always knew I wanted to study agriculture. During my senior year of high school, I job shadowed Kody Trampel, a MaxYield agronomy specialist, which was interesting.

Q: What have you enjoyed about your MaxYield communications internship?
A: While MaxYield isn’t a huge company, there are so many opportunities here. I’ve had the chance to work on MaxYield’s tractor calendar, which is fun, since my grandpa restores tractors. I will also never look at My Solutions magazine the same way again, because I’ve seen how much work it takes to conduct the interviews, write the articles, and set up the photo shoots. I’ve also had the chance to job shadow Rachel Norby at SciMax Solutions to learn more about her career path in precision ag. It has been fun to work with the other MaxYield interns, too. I’ve shot videos of them on the job for MaxYield’s YouTube channel. I’ve also set up tours so we could visit the Hobarton facility, the Lakota facility, and a tractor cab assembly plant in Waterloo. This is so much more than a summer job. It also says a lot about MaxYield that some interns come back for a second internship here.

Q: How have you benefited by having Chad Meyer as your mentor at MaxYield?
A: Chad has been very helpful, and he is always available when I have questions. He’s also interested in my future career plans. The mentoring is one of the best parts of a MaxYield internship.

Q: What are your career goals after graduation?
A: I want to stay in the Midwest and get into ag sales. I’m glad MaxYield gave me an internship to help build my skills. They give everyone a chance, whether you’re a freshman or a senior. I encourage other students to take advantage of this opportunity before you graduate.

Interesting facts about Ashley

• Ashley is involved in many activities on campus at ISU, including Sigma Alpha (a professional women’s ag sorority), Women in Agronomy Club, Iowa Corn’s collegiate team, and the Dance Marathon fundraiser, which benefits children with medical needs.

• Ashley and her younger sister, Brielle, show pigs each year at events from Cedar Rapids to Spencer and beyond, including the Iowa State Fair.

• Thanks to her Grandma Esther, Ashley learned the art of quilting and uses her talent to create t-shirt quilts for family and friends.

• Ashley has always enjoyed traveling and was thrilled to go to Australia on a 12-day ag study trip during the 2014 spring break. She and other ISU ag students learned about wheat, dairy, and more. Through her church (Zion Evangelical Church in Garner), Ashley has also participated in mission trips to coal-mining areas of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. She assisted with vacation Bible School classes and daycare activities for children, helped build homes with Habitat for Humanity, and contributed to other mission projects.

A Minute With MaxYield Mentor Chad Meyer, client relations/communications team leader

Q: What have you enjoyed about working with Ashley?
A: Ashley has a positive, can-do attitude. She comes to work every day ready to learn and get projects done. She has a great personality and builds trust with her teammates and clients quickly.

Q: What traits/skills does Ashley possess that fit well with MaxYield’s culture?
A: She is a self-starter and works great independently and as part of a team. I give her a list of priorities to complete, and she takes care of them. Ashley does a great job of setting her own schedule and getting tasks and projects done. She is very organized and can handle multiple projects at once. I don’t have to worry about whether the project will get done or not, because she handles every challenge with professionalism.

Q: How does MaxYield’s internship program benefit both students and MaxYield?
A: The internship program is important to MaxYield, because it provides a pool of potential team members for us to consider and build relationships with for future opportunities. It also allows us to get projects completed and helps with our workload during the busy summer season. The students gain real-world experience and networking opportunities that are second to none. Our goal is to give them an opportunity to see what life is like in their particular interest area and to provide experiences that will bolster their resume. We also want to put them in position to be considered for career opportunities when they become available at MaxYield.

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