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Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences
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Taylor Grove

Liberal Arts Major(s): International Politics
Minor: Civic & Community Engagement
Hometown: Martinsburg, West Virginia

What was the best part of your experience?

The best part of my experience was not one specific event but how quickly the International Programs office brought me into the fold. On day one, I was already knee deep in a grant proposal and briefing myself on the latest projects. Part of this was because the busyness of the summer demanded my help as soon as I was brought on, which made it incredibly important for me to be able to learn on the job. This quick start in combination with the friendliness of the faculty and staff made me feel welcome, needed, and part of the team.

Working at the College of Agricultural Sciences afforded me the opportunity to use my academic research skills in a professional setting

How did this experience impact you academically?

Working at the College of Agricultural Sciences afforded me the opportunity to use my academic research skills in a professional setting. Throughout my schooling, my analytical, resource compilation, and data visualization skills have almost exclusively been utilized for personal projects and class assignments. This internship allowed me to put these skills to the test, as I was part of a large team of researchers, each with our own focus areas and objectives. The feedback I received from that element of my internship will be incredibly helpful moving forward in my last year of school, as well as for my jobs to come.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

This internship was invaluable for its diverse offering of projects and responsibilities. The fast-paced work environment tested my adaptability and efficiency, while also lending clarity to what my developed and underdeveloped skill sets are. Operating in a support role for various ongoing projects in the International Programs office, I learned that academia can extend well beyond teaching classes and individual professor research. With projects ranging from food security development projects to gender equality initiatives to capacity building partnerships, my eyes were opened to the breadth of my intended career field of development work.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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