Eric Cruickshank

Eric Cruickshank

Eric Cruickshank, a consumer economics and finance graduate, works on the engagement team at Uber Freight. 

His advice is to "learn everything you can during the interview process, ask questions, find those who succeed, and follow their lead. Your career isn’t one year or five years, it much longer than that. Enjoy the process.” He also adds, “The problems, failure, and experiences you encounter in your job are so valuable to your future success, so don’t let the negatives bring you down. Instead, use them as learning experiences you can take with you moving forward.”

Asher Deitch

Asher Deitch

Asher Deitch, natural resources and environmental sciences graduate, is a biologist at BioResource Consultants Inc. in Ojai, California. In this position, he is involved with a variety of projects including habitat assessments, biological assessments, and habitat restoration and mitigation. Deitch spends about half of his time surveying and monitoring biological resources out in the field and the other half in his office quantifying and reporting his findings.

“Ask questions when you don’t know the answer, and be willing to go out of your comfort zone,” Deitch says. “Good communication is essential to being productive in a collaborative environment.”

Deitch also encourages students to continue learning and staying up to date in their industry.

“Never pass up the opportunity to take a class that will further your professional knowledge.”

Morgan Booth

Morgan Booth

Morgan Booth, animal sciences graduate, has seen her career path change over time.

When Booth started college, she wanted to be a large animal vet. However, upon graduation, she was a county manager for the Illinois Farm Bureau, and now she is the communications director for the Illinois Pork Producers Association. 

Booth’s career path changes were inspired by job shadow experiences and realizing that she enjoyed the communications side of business.

“I am so glad I chose this path, even though it changed quite a bit from when I started college as a freshman,” Booth says.

She encourages students to explore lots of career options.

“I would suggest job shadowing and trying a variety of things early on in college. Keep an open mind about career paths and go to the career fair!”

Craig Slaughter

Craig Slaughter, food science and human nutrition graduate, has worked hard at managing his career. After graduation, he worked for Kraft Foods and served as a scientist, senior scientist, and manager respectively. In 2016, he took an opportunity with Tyson foods. Slaughter determined he needed his M.B.A. when he realized his passion has always been to develop good products and develop the people around him. Slaughter is now the director of Research and Development for Sigma Alimentos Food based in Phoenix AZ. 

Slaughter suggests, “Always embrace change and remember that your job is to please the consumer while keeping their safety as your #1 priority. You will never like every product that you develop. The goal is to be proud of the process that was used to get there.”

Internship stories

Oakley Whalen

Oakley Whalen

Oakley Whalen, agricultural leadership education graduate, interned at Cargill in New Orleans. Whalen learned an extensive amount about teamwork, communication, and building relationships during her internship at Cargill. She learned the value of building trust and relationships, and if you are able to build those foundations, working together for a common goal is much easier. This internship solidified her passion for human resources.

Oakley’s advice to students is “There really is something out there for everyone. Find something you’re good at and capitalize on it, because the world needs your talents, and you deserve to be happy and do something you’re passionate about.”

Kolten Postin

Kolten Postin

Kolten Postin, agricultural and consumer economics graduate, knows how important it is to make connections with professors.

Postin is a market research and consulting intern at John Deere Innovation Technology Center in Research Park. In this position, he maps dairy operations and develops a cost of production analysis for milk. He conducts both primary and secondary research to gather information.

“If you are interested in an opportunity like mine, let your professors know,” Postin says. “In my situation, John Deere contacted my professor asking him for prospective students.”

This internship allowed Postin to learn more about the dairy industry. He has also learned the objectives and processes that companies go through when conducting market research.

“This position has opened up additional career opportunities and has opened my interest in feed ingredient segment in agriculture,” Postin says. “I feel extremely fortunate to have gotten this excellent opportunity!”

Hayden Schaumburg

Hayden Schaumburg

Hayden Schaumburg, farm management, is interning at Granular as a data specialist. His responsibilities include entering massive amounts of data that farmers use to make educated decisions for their farm operations. Hayden gives his Granular team and internship credit for solidifying his goal “to work in the agricultural sector contributing directly to producers.” 

He says, “At a young age, I painted a picture in my mind of attending the university and working in agriculture. It is my belief that when you find something you are truly passionate about there is nothing that can keep you from it.”

Find out more about Hayden Schaumburg's story here.

Julianna Ge

Julianna Ge 

Julianna Ge, human development and family studies/industrial engineering, is also a James Scholar in the College of ACES.

Ge worked for the Pearson Student Advisory Board, a small group of scholars who were selected to serve as advisors to the Pearson leadership team and executives. This position gave her the opportunity to edit and create written or pictorial works for Pearson. 

“Given my passion for engineering, people, and education, I thought serving on the Pearson Student Advisory Board would allow me to bypass prosaic intern work and do some tangible good in a relatively short period of time,” Ge says.

The experience has given her excellent insight into the current state of education from a business and personal perspective. 

The James Scholar program gave her the opportunity to be the co-president of the James Scholar Advisory & Leadership Team. 

“Being a part of the James Scholar program helped me form close friendships with many intelligent students, staff, and faculty, which then helped connect me to the resources I needed to succeed.”

Job Shadow Stories

Erin Kettelkamp

Erin Kettelkamp

Erin Kettelkamp, animal sciences with a pre-vet concentration, took advantage of a job shadow opportunity at Nestlé Purina PetCare’s corporate headquarters in St. Louis.

During the job shadow, Kettelkamp had the opportunity to meet with representatives in various departments, human resources representatives, and scientists. She also got to tour the processing plant and have hands-on experience with their quality assurance tests. The participants were encouraged to ask questions throughout the day.

“Every employee was so warm and welcoming it really gave me the opportunity to get the most out of that day,” Kettelkamp says.

Before this job shadow experience, Kettelkamp was curious about the nutrition industry about veterinary medicine. Because of her experience, she is planning to take more nutrition classes.

“If you are not sure about your career path, or are curious about a certain industry, a job shadow is a great way to get your feet wet,” Kettelkamp advised. “They allow you to network with professionals and get an inside look without necessarily committing to a job or internship position.”

Nick Tarleton

Nick Tarleton

Nick Tarleton, food science and human nutrition, did a job shadow at Newly Wed Foods in Chicago. Newly Wed Foods is a smaller food corporation that is a premier global purveyor of customized bread, batters, seasonings, and functional ingredients. During the job shadow, Tarleton got to see many departments in the company including sales and marketing, research and development, quality assurance, regulatory, production, and sensory departments. 

“My favorite department during the job shadow was research and development where I had the opportunity to play around with the ratio of spices that add flavor to cooked potato chips,” Tarleton says.

Tarleton also had the opportunity to network during the job shadow. He found that industry professionals were interested in getting to know him. They asked him to keep in touch and offered their assistance if he needed it.

“Job shadows have helped me better understand what I am learning in the classroom,” Tarleton says. “Take advantage of opportunities pertaining to job shadows and internships, maintain an updated I-Link and LinkedIn profile, make valuable and true connections with industry professionals, and keep in touch with the industry professionals you meet. It makes a huge difference.”