Students and Co-op Benefit From MKC Summer Internship Program
Sep 03, 2019
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “Shared Growth. Shared Success?” Is it the partnership between the producer and MKC? Is it the image of an MKC spray rig, spraying your crops, hoping to increase yield? While this all may ring true, the “Shared Growth. Shared Success.” message is also being applied to the future leaders of the industry as part of the MKC Internship Program.
“MKC has a great opportunity through the internship program to impact the next generation in agriculture,” says Hilary Worcester, MKC coordinator of talent and industry partnerships. “As these interns grow within our company, they are able to influence MKC with new ideas and enthusiasm that helps MKC become more successful as well.”
This summer, MKC opened its doors to 16 summer interns looking to gain applicable skills and receive greater insight into the world of agriculture. Students from multiple different colleges were placed in locations extending from Manhattan to Haven, with internship experiences stretching from agronomy to information technology.
“MKC intentionally seeks a diverse class of interns,” Worcester says. “We want students from different schools, majors and backgrounds to allow for the most knowledge exchange within the intern group and with MKC as a whole.”
To assist with the overall experience, the interns were placed with a mentor to help answer questions and act as a guide for the duration of the summer. Departments who welcomed an intern included accounting, agronomy, communications, TMA, sales, information technology and general agriculture.
In order to give the students a well-rounded experience, the program takes the interns across Kansas for different learning and networking opportunities.
“Our goal is for the interns to gain a wider understanding of not only MKC, but agriculture as a whole,” Worcester says. “This exposure should expand their perspective which allows them to choose the correct career path, have the confidence to work in a group and ultimately become more innovative and effective in their future.”
The interns kicked off the summer at Co-op 101 hosted by the Kansas Cooperative Council. Throughout the summer, intern spend time visiting different agricultural events and facilities in Kansas. Stops included Kansas Ethanol, Canton Terminal and the Irrigation Innovation Plot near Moundridge where they learned more about the partnership between MKC and American Robotics.
Spearheaded by Worcester, the MKC Internship Program places an emphasis on the individual projects interns work on each summer. The projects are assigned to the interns based on their interest and what their location or department is needing. “The projects have not only benefited the interns and MKC but will ultimately benefit our member-owners,” Worcester explained.
“Projects give the interns an opportunity to develop their problem-solving skills, project planning and management skills, communication, and presentation skills by tackling a real-world problem that is impacting our employees or customers,” Worcester says.
Projects conducted by the interns include analysis of grain bunkers, grain sensor efficiency, dispatching system, Irrigation Innovation Plot data management and videos highlighting MKC careers.
“These interns are our future employees and partners in the industry,” Worcester says. “We have a twelve-week window to help the interns grow in their knowledge of agriculture, MKC as a company, their own skills, and where their future career might lie. As MKC helps them grow, we are contributing to their successful future.”