Abbie Rose, featured in my October 2015 column, was finishing an intensive internship at Lely Center Vermont while attending Virginia Tech the last time we met. She gave me an update on how things are going, and how the college experience is helping her forge a career.
How do you find this different than an internship?
This is different than my internship mostly because my work is very self-driven. I am doing all the scheduling and meetings on my own terms instead of shadowing someone. I am the representative presenting information to customers, which I did not do as an intern. In this way, I have taken on a lot more responsibility. I tell anyone in the agricultural industry that I think “on-farm” knowledge is the most useful tool you can possess.
What process did you go through to obtain the job?
When I was job searching one day, I found myself on AgCareers.com, which is a service that pairs employers with job-seekers. At first, when I contacted the person there, she looked at my résumé and told me I wouldn’t need her help! Again, this is where my internships helped me a lot. As I kept in touch with her throughout the following months, she happened to mention Fisher & Thompson, and wondered if I had heard of them. At the time, I wasn’t really familiar with Pennsylvania, and therefore I hadn’t. However, when I went to their website, I was able to download an application and send in my résumé. The rest is history. It was a perfect fit from the beginning, and I have to believe it was fate that led me to them!
Do you feel college prepared you well for this position?
I feel prepared for this position. There will always be job-specific training that is required, and you will always learn a lot being in the position itself. However, I feel that my familiarity with robots based on both of my internships helped a lot in the beginning, as well as my strong science background, thanks to all my training with the Dairy Science Department at Virginia Tech.
What do you like most about this job?
I love this job. I love that I don’t really need to rely on too many people to do my job on a daily basis. I am self-motivated and set my own schedule and conquer each day on my own terms. I love going from farm to farm, and I absolutely love teaching farmers, enhancing the way they use this technology, and helping them reach their goals. There is no better satisfaction in my job than getting something from a farmer that says the change I helped them make positively impacted their farm.
What advice would you give to other seniors and juniors in college?
Relax! Everything will work itself out. Do start early, but do not worry if you don’t have a job by December! As a senior, I had no idea what the “timeline” was of when you should start looking for jobs. I thought I was behind in October, yet I didn’t even accept a job until March. It is scary and stressful, but my advice would be to enjoy the process.
Read more: The Value of Summer Internships