by Lupe Cruz
As my graduation day slowly approaches, it’s time I apply some of the skills and knowledge I have obtained throughout my college experience. I am currently demonstrating these skills with an internship. An internship is an excellent way for students and other green workers to learn and get real-world experience in a field of their choosing. The Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and the College of ACES have played vital roles in helping me earn an internship.
ACES and the University of Illinois in general make the searching process for an internship or job very simple for students. There are career fairs and websites such as Handshake that aid students in finding what they need. I am a technical systems management major (TSM) in ABE, which offers significant room in the curriculum for students to explore other areas of studies in their minor. I have two minors – one in business and another in agricultural safety and health.
This summer I am working a business management internship with Orkin (the North Chicago commercial branch), which is a leader in the pest control world. I spend my days learning how the business operates from all aspects such as marketing, selling, operating, and managing. I believe the experience and knowledge I am gaining is universal, from the customer service to reviewing profit and loss statements and operating performance reports. This has been an exciting summer for me because this is helping me apply the business concepts I learned in my classes to practice. Additionally, I am utilizing my agricultural safety and health knowledge because Orkin obviously deals with pesticides and other chemicals.
I was able to obtain this internship with the help of my college and department. The career center in the College of ACES is very resourceful because there I was able to receive guidance on my resume, partake in mock interviews, and get general advice about my career goals. The ABE department has friendly and trustworthy faculty and staff. When I’m sitting in an office for academic advising, I’m able to feel comfortable and have casual conversations. This might be due to the smaller size of the ABE department compared to other engineering departments, but it makes it feel like a family. With the college’s resources and support, I am growing and moving in the right direction towards my career goals and personal success.
[Lupe Cruz is a senior in TSM in the Department of ABE.]