As I was growing up the only thing I could ever remember saying I wanted to be when I grew up, was an ag teacher just like my dad. But I also remember being in first grade and being given my first legitimate writing assignment. While all of the other kids wrote a couple of lines to go with their drawing for their story, I clearly remember stapling together a booklet that had at least ten pages written about animals. So my interests in agriculture and educating others, especially through writing, have been there from the beginning and I take a lot of comfort from the fact that I have always had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with my life
Fast forward to now and 16 years of school later, and the ‘when I grow up’ deadline is very, very real and written in capital letters in my planner. Yet somehow, this girl has managed to skip over most of the stressful long process of getting that first “big kid” job. Yes, I just became that person who all other seniors despise because I have a job lined out before graduation.
I only feel a tad bit guilty. Probably because the rest of me is really stinkin’ excited.
My post grad adventure will start right here in Manhattan at the Kansas Pork Association as the new Director of Communications. I’m actually starting part time while I finish up school this semester and will be going full time in June. I have always had an interest in the swine industry, stemming from raising and showing hogs in 4-H and FFA. I am looking forward to taking on all of the association’s promotional materials, building relationships in the industry and working to represent and create a positive image for animal agriculture.
Through this process I have been reminded of how invaluable networking and investing time in internships and career related experiences are as a college student. While I have been a student at K-State I have had two summer internships, as well as an on-campus internship during the school year. It is my experience working the past three years in the communications office at the International Grain Program, which is a part of the grain science department here at K-State, that has given me the confidence and skills to be prepared for the adventures that are waiting for me after graduation. Most importantly I received a lot of mentoring and support as a student employee, which I believe was crucial in my development as a communicator. If I were to give any piece of advice to other students, it would definitely be to seek out experiences that challenge you in the field that you want your career to be in and find a good mentor. Having someone that believes in your potential and supports you through that process also helps develop you as a person.
I am pretty excited to see what life in Manhattan not as a student is going to be like. I do have some concerns about transitioning from college to career, especially when I am going to continue to live with my college roommates for the first year. But I have good people around me and I really like Manhattan. Moving here four years ago for school wouldn’t have been an option if I didn’t. So I think that it is ‘real fine place to start.’