Major: Culinary Food Science
Company/Organization: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
Company/Organization website: https://www.extension.iastate.edu/
Destination: Northwest Iowa
Advisor/Coordinator Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was responsible for...
This summer I worked on many different projects. I worked alongside two other Rising Star Interns. Our first main project was teaching lessons revolving around gardening and healthy food choices at 3 different daycares in Northwest Iowa. These lessons would consist of educational material, crafts, and other fun activities. Along with that, we also worked in 3 different donation gardens across the counties helping with planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting. The produce is than donated to local food pantries in the communities surrounding the gardens. We also ran PoP club (Power of Produce) in two different counties at the local Farmers' Markets. Here we have the kids try a new vegetable bought locally at the farmers' market, do a produce or garden related activity, and then they received a $2 token to spend on produce. We also have a few other side projects, we helped work Bike-N-Bite in Okoboji and set up a program at the Clay County Fair to educate adults about agriculture. We also performed two food demonstrations at Farmers' Market in the Spirit Lake area.
My greatest accomplishment from this summer was educating the children I worked with. It was so much fun getting to educate them about gardening and healthy food choices, two things I am very passionate about. Prior to this experience, I didn't think I would have enjoyed working with them as much as I did. Before educating them, many of the students knew little or nothing about gardening or healthy food choices. I felt such a feeling of accomplishment when the summer was over and the children remembers ideas and topics from the first week we met them. I felt like I had made a difference in many of their lives.
The greatest lesson I learned from my experience is that the best experiences can come unexpectedly. Before my internship, I had barely heard of ISU Extension and Outreach. I was unsure of applying because I did not know what to expect. I also thought this internship would never relate to what I wanted to do in a future career. I found that I was completely wrong. I gained so many valuable experiences that will aid me in the future. I loved all of the projects I worked on and would even consider a career in extension. Overall, I learned to always keep an open mind, as you never know what will come out of an experience.
Advice for others...
My advice for future students is to make the most out of your summers. Summer is the perfect time to have an internship and gain experience. It helps you to explore future career paths while learning more about yourself. You may even be surprised and find an area not related to your major that you love. It really helps enforce whether or not you are choosing the right career path for you.