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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


Internships and Careers

Agribusiness and Applied Economics majors are required to complete a two-credit internship experience which aims to acquaint undergrads with a real-world work environment and challenge undergraduates to apply the skills they've learned in the classroom to real-world challenges.  EEDS students have a different set of curriculum expectations. 

Internship Requirements

Internship credits can be earned in the following ways:
-A formal internship designed by an employer.

-Self-employment that generates $3,000 or more gross income during a calendar year, accompanied by a business plan for the company.

-Full-time employment (summer experience) accompanied by a monthly narrative prepared for the internship advisor. The monthly narrative must focus on a continuing problem, activity, management function, or special project.

-Involvement in a family business that includes specific management responsibilities, accompanied by a business plan for the family business.

-Part-time employment for six months with the same employer (10 hours or more per week), accompanied by a monthly narrative prepared for the internship advisor. The monthly narrative must focus on a continuing problem, activity, management function, or special project.

-To receive credit for the internship, students must enroll in AEDE 3191. AEDE 3191 is to be taken after the internship is complete and is a 2-credit course. You must receive permission to enroll in AEDE 3191. Please reach the Internship Enrollment Packet for full details on the enrollment process.


Completion and submission of Statement of Understanding Form during the within the first two weeks of the internship.
Completion of the Internship Hours and Activities Documentation Form.


Step 1: Research and secure an internship for the upcoming semester or summer months.
If you are an international student, first obtain CPT approval through the Office of International Affairs.
Step 2: Complete the Internship Registration Request Form. Step 3: Email it to Dr. Parkman requesting a meeting to discuss details and complete the Permission to Enroll Form that allows you to register for 3191.
Step 4: Review the internship requirements and expectations for documentation during the internship to earn credit in AEDE 3191 in the semester you are enrolled.
Step 5: Once your enrollment form has been submitted and you are registered for the course, watch for emails providing direction to course shells in Carmen offering you further information on submission of materials, deadlines and requirements.

Internship Alternative Policy SP21-SP22

Rationale: The current COVID-19 health emergency should not negatively impact students with regard to internship completion requirements and their timeline or progression toward graduation. Internship requirement and policy changes ONLY apply to those students who need to complete an internship for Summer 2021 as they progress to graduation in Summer of 2021, Fall of 2021 and Spring of 2022. 

Students need to notify Kassie Kurzhals ( and Dr. Parkman ( if:
A. they are unable to secure an internship.
B. their Summer 2021 internship is cancelled or postponed.
C. they feel uncomfortable completing the internship in Summer 2021 due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19.

Internship Alternatives: The following alternatives are open to students:
1. Secure a different internship that meets the spirit of AEDE 3191 outcomes.
2. Utilize the Petition for Change in Major to substitute
     -Any AEDE course elective (will not double count for major elective credit requirement).
     -AEDE 4193: Independent Study (contact Kassie at for additional information on this course).
             a. Utilize current or previous work or military experience that aligns with the spirit of AEDE 3191 outcomes to complete outcomes alignment reflection paper, OR
             b. Complete a professional development plan.

*Note that you will need to complete a Change in Major Form to complete this process.
If you have questions about this, please reach out to Kassie ( and Dr. Parkman (!

Internship Solidifies Career Path

Matthew Goddard completed his internship with FMC, an Agricultural Sciences Company, at their Midwest Field Station. He shared that he gained knowledge, field and professional experience and was surprised by the range of operations at the station. While at the Midwest Field Station, Goddard worked alongside analysts who examined and interpreted outlines of field experiments.  From there, they implemented the experiments in the field, interpreted the results and reported outcomes to data analysts. When the summer came to an end, Goddard decided to minor in agronomy because of how much he enjoyed working in plant science.

EEDS Major Sees Sustainability Mission Up Close Through Internship at Scotts Miracle-Gro

Sarah Light, Economy, Environment, Development and Sustainability (EEDS) major, is completing her final semester of coursework in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Lights credits the diversity of her classes with teaching her the skillset to be able to look at sustainability issues through the lens of different people and stakeholder perspectives. She has put this skillset to good use during three unique internships. Lights says each of her internships, though widely different, have offered insights that have made her much more certain about her future and clear about where she wants to focus in her job search. In her first, she worked for an urban farm in Tel Aviv, Israel. Her second internship was in a marketing position for a community development corporation in Cleveland, Ohio. For her third, she has been interning since September 2019 in Scotts Miracle-Gro’s Corporate Affairs Department under their Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility.
“My internship at Scotts has truly given me insight into how a large company functions and how they incorporate sustainability into a for-profit agenda,” says Light. 

She shares that her current duties vary from day to day but include monitoring the sustainability inbox for the company, facilitating the company’s “Drive Clean, Park Close” initiative, and assisting the communications team with content creation. One of the big projects she will working on spring semester is facilitating the product donations process for the company. 

“Scotts takes action to improve the company’s community and environmental stewardship,” says Light. “I am really excited to see how the current process of assessing of materials leads to future sustainability goals.”

Throughout her internship, Light has gained confidence in her abilities due to her boss trusting her to complete tasks. 

“My boss allows me autonomy to make my own decisions and plans throughout my internship,” says Light.

As she begins her job search, she Light says she will remain open minded and look for jobs that she is interested in regardless of title. Her internship at Scotts has shown her that there are many different types of jobs she would be happy doing and they don’t have to be a sustainability position per se. 

“As long as I am working for a company or organization that is working towards a sustainability mission, I could see myself in a variety of roles.”

Livestock Judging Team Prepares Student for Purina Internship

Andrew Davis is an Agribusiness and Applied Economics major and a past member of the college’s Livestock Judging Team.  He says a few classes and experiences helped prepare him for his internship with Purina. A personal selling course provided insight into interpersonal communication and taught him to think on his feet. Traveling to some of the biggest and best livestock operations in the country with his judging team provided insight into animal nutrition, herd management and how to talk shop with producers.Something he discovered they liked to do when he made on average, 30 farm calls per week as a feed sales intern with Purina.  Most would start out asking what university he attended. When he mentioned that he was on the livestock judging team, he could see from their reactions that his experience meant he had credibility.

“I would see their faces light up as if they were thinking, hey this kid knows what he is looking at and what he is talking about,” says Davis.

Andrew says that he also discovered that most producers were not going to trust a college student with feeding their entire herd just from the first visit but that it took multiple visits to gain their trust. Something he was able to do after three visits.

“They would ask me to evaluate their livestock and ask what I would change through a feeding program,” says Davis. “I had the confidence to share my ideas and back them up.”

Davis also made farm calls with Purina’s Great Lakes Manager who helped him perfect and refine his approach. When he wasn’t visiting area farms, Davis created feed product displays and feeding trials, including three 90-day cattle feeding trials with 123 total head of cattle and three 60-day horse feeding trails.

During the final week of his internship he traveled to Minnesota’s Land O’ Lakes headquarters which owns Purina Animal Nutrition, to deliver his wrap-up presentation to Purina’s upper management and 58 fellow interns.

Davis hopes to land a full-time job in the livestock feed industry after graduation and is networking with other livestock judging team members he met across the country.