August 17, 2019

The First Half of a MaxYield Internship through the Eyes of the Communications/Client Relations Intern

It was the evening of the day after Iowa State’s career fair when I sent an email off to Chad Meyer accepting his offer for this internship. After I got off the phone with my mom and dad, excitedly sharing the news with them, I thought for a moment, “I sure hope I’m not bored.”

Looking back, I have no idea what I was thinking. With a MaxYield Cooperative internship, you don’t have time to be bored! Each day at the corporate office in West Bend, Iowa has been a unique, challenging, and enriching opportunity, and I have learned so much in my experience here. Now, I know what you might be thinking: “How you can you have a great summer internship in small town Northwest Iowa?” In fact, I thought the same thing. But hang tight, folks, as we journey through a review of the first few weeks as an intern at MaxYield Cooperative!

When I first arrived on May 20th for company onboarding, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did not know any of the other interns and I had never been a part of a first-day training at a job. In prior roles, I had just sort of shown up and gotten started, so the idea of taking a day or two to get acclimated to the company was new to me. We began with safety training led by Tom Winkel, MaxYield’s Safety Director. I am sure right now you are imagining a boring slideshow with a monotone presentation, but to my surprise, it was actually fairly enjoyable! Tom made a point of making the training fun, where appropriate, and also took it as an opportunity to get to know us a little bit better. Later, Chad Meyer, my mentor and Communications/Client Relations Director, and Diane Streit, Human Resources Director, joined us for lunch and an overview of basic company policies and procedures. Our onboarding continued into a second day when Patti Guenther, the Learning and Development Leader, introduced us to MaxYield’s history and values. Patti is very passionate about helping team members succeed, including interns, so this was a great opportunity to set our individual goals for the summer and gear up for what was ahead!

Once onboarding was complete, Chad helped me hit the ground running on a number of projects. In addition to helping you grow your skillset in your area of study, MaxYield is also committed to giving interns a variety of professional development opportunities. To cap off my first week, I traveled to Paulsen, the marketing and advertising agency in Sioux Falls that designs and publishes our My Solutions magazine. Getting to meet and network with their team was an enriching experience, and learning more about the work they do there was a great way to wrap up the first week of my MaxYield experience. I even got to meet the guy who has animated the bugs in the Raid bug killer commercials!

belmond fire departmentBy the second week, I had jumped right into my duties as Communications and Client Relations Intern. I traveled to Belmond, Britt, and Clarion to make donations to fire departments and 4-H programs on behalf of MaxYield Cooperative. I also journeyed across Northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota to interview the owners of the tractors that will be featured in the 2020 edition of our annual tractor calendar, another project I am responsible for. Learning about the tractors and hearing their stories has been one of my favorite parts of the internship!

It was during this time that I also began work on my two large, ongoing projects for the summer: evaluating our marketing strategies and evaluating our recruitment tactics. I started by interviewing senior team leaders at MaxYield to get more insight on the cooperative’s marketing efforts and by chatting with college professors, career services experts, and student organization leaders to learn more about how other companies are recruiting students.

During the second week of June our freelance photographer, Greg Latza, came to the MaxYield trade area. The photos he took at that shoot will not only accompany stories in future issues of My Solutions, but will also be featured in social media posts and this blog. Getting to know Greg was a lot of fun and it was amazing to just sit back and watch him work! It was also during this week that Chad and I traveled to Emmetsburg for the Farm News Ag Show. Although I’ve been to numerous farm shows in my life, this was my first time prepping for such an event. Another highlight was getting to visit the radio station in Algona and learn about how radio advertisements are made.

If for some reason you are still worried I was bored, fear not, because the last week of June was completely packed with events! Each year, MaxYield Cooperative co-hosts the MaxYield Seed IMCA Northern SportMod Nationals at the Hancock County Speedway in Britt as a seed client appreciation event for the east area. Being a HUGE race fan, I had been looking forward to this night since I accepted the internship. My duties mainly took place leading up to the event, promoting it on social media and working to get all the details with the east area leaders ironed out. I had a blast getting to know the MaxYield clients and DeKalb, Asgrow, and Winfield representatives that attended the event. One of the most ‘exciting’ things I got to do during the night was throw out the hats, t-shirts, and other freebies into the stands! I thought my ‘stuff throwing skills’ were good enough to make me the next member of the Harlem Globetrotters, although the people in the stands may beg to differ…

This week also brought our freelance writer, Darcy Maulsby, to MaxYield country. She interviewed MaxYield team members, board members, and clients to help her prepare compelling stories for the next issue of My Solutions. Getting to hang out with Darcy has been a high point in this internship for sure. Being a writer and blogger myself, I was in heaven by talking writer-talk with Darcy and learning from her over lunches during this week. Getting to see how she conducted interviews was also a great experience for me, and will help me as I continue to complete intern and tractor calendar interviews. She has even written books that I’ve seen in Barnes & Noble- you can’t tell me that’s not cool.

The summer has quickly marched on since then, and it seems we are already halfway through the internship! It’s hard to believe that I am on the downhill slope of my time at MaxYield, and I know our grain accounting, agronomy sales, and soil sampling/crop scouting interns have also had outstanding experiences. For me, I have a feeling the second half of this internship is going to be even better than the first. Check back near the end of the summer to hear about the rest of my experience!

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

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