Crop and Soil Science

Internship Opportunities

An internship can help you stand apart from the competition when looking for a job. It can also help you understand what you want in a future career. Learn more about some of the places our students have been and the experiences they've gained in the field.

Illinois Foundation Seeds

Trevor Frank and Tony Sternweis

Trevor Frank

Major: Crop Science
Position Title: Plant Breeder Intern
Employer: Illinois Foundation Seeds

In the summer months of 2011, I completed an internship in Plover, Wisconsin with a company called Illinois Foundation Seeds, Inc. I chose this internship because I knew my employer previous to the internship and I have an interest in plant breeding. I really liked learning the pollination process of corn including; selfing, crossing, and back crossing. I also had the opportunity to meet customers from countries around the globe such as Spain and New Zealand. Most importantly, I benefited from this internship in so many ways, including: learning proper pollinating techniques; working with others professionally; and learning what it truly means to be a sweet corn breeder.

Tony Sternweis

Major: Crop Science and Agricultural Business
Position Title: Plant Breeder Intern
Employer: Illinois Foundation Seeds

My name is Tony Sternweis, and I am a senior, double majoring in Agriculture Business and Crop Science. Over this past summer I had an internship with Illinois Foundation Seeds out of Plover, WI. I enjoyed being able to work outside every day and took full advantage of the hands-on learning experiences with Jerry Wagner, the plant breeder and my boss. Jerry went above and beyond by offering to assist me in finding a job if I decided to pursue a plant breeding career. Getting great experience and making professional connections really made this internship worthwhile.

Helena Chemical Company

Kristi Thompson
Kristi Thompson

Position Title: Retail Sale Rep Intern and Wholesale Sales Rep Intern
Employer: Helena Chemical Company

I recently completed a two-summer internship at Helena Chemical Company. The first summer I worked as a Retail Sales Rep in Royalton, MN, and the second summer as a Wholesale Sales Rep in Madison, WI. I secured my internship experience by networking with potential employers at the National SASES Meetings, which travels across the country every year.

During my internship I had the privilege of working closely with two sales reps and covered the entire state of Wisconsin. I took many different soil and tissue samples, worked closely with farmers, and communicated the results of those samples to the grower and managers above me.  I also promoted Helena's chemicals by devising various marketing schemes, and compiled a significant amount of data to present to our corporate office.

What I loved most about my experience was having the freedom to set my own schedule and make my own industry contacts.

Beyond gaining incredibly useful knowledge on the job, I basically received a three-month job interview. Upon completion of my internship, I was offered a full-time job. More importantly though, I was grateful for the many relationships I formed and connections I made in the industry. My advice to CAFES students seeking an internship is to step out of your shell and talk to a stranger. You never know where it'll get you. If it can happen for me, it can happen for anyone.

For more information on internships, contact the CAFES Internship Office:

210 Agricultural Science

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Plant and Earth Science
324 Agricultural Science
611 S. 3rd St.

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