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.

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.

Kristi Thompson
Kristi Thompson

Position Title: Retail 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 campaigns, 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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