BY: DALTON LAYFIELD
Where are you interning/did you intern?
I interned at Perdue Farms Inc. during the summer of 2017.
What are/were your responsibilities as an intern?
My responsibilities at work differed throughout the summer. I spent a month recruiting, where I scanned through résumés to find a candidate qualified, interviewed them, and offered them a contract. The second part of the summer, I was an associate relations intern. I spent most of my time listening to associate problems with either other associates or their immediate supervisors. I would listen and try to solve any complications occurring in the workplace. During the third part of the summer, I worked for the Learning & Development Department. I was immediately assigned to create two classes for both salary and associate level employees. Through this project, I created a webinar on how to use Skype in the business, and a class on anger management.
Describe a typical day at your internship.
On a typical day, I would show up to work at 8:30 and answer my impending emails. After spending a few minutes replying, I would head over to my colleague whom I would be shadowing on that particular day. I would spend the day with them and even have lunch with them most days. Finally, I would meet with my boss at five to talk about what I had learned that day then leave around 5:30.
What is/was your favorite thing about your internship?
My favorite part of my internship would have to be the connections I built. For most of my internship, I shadowed a colleague and observed how they would assess each responsibility before taking on my own. This meant I had a lot of time to talk and get to know my co-workers. I believe these conversations greatly influenced my knowledge of the industry, as well as how to perform to the best of my ability. I steadily call my old boss and colleagues to ask how they’re doing, knowing that they will keep me in mind for future opportunities.
What is/was the most valuable skill you developed in this internship that you can use in your future career?
The most valuable skill I acquired was how to network with professionals. Being in human resources, I spent a lot of time at random events that we would put on for the associates. Every HR member in the neighboring plants would attend these events, and my boss would toss me into conversations with them. I had to learn very quickly how to interact at the same level of professionalism and sell myself without coming off as too shy or too arrogant.
What was something unexpected that happened during your internship, or resulted because of your internship?
I was unexpectedly asked to work for another department under the request of their manager. The last third of my summer was left unassigned because they wanted me to decide which department I wanted to focus on more. The manager of the Learning & Development department approached me at the internship conference and asked if I would like to shadow her for the remaining time. I took advantage of this opportunity to learn more about a department I previously knew little about. This decision paid off, because I was able to diversify my skill set further, all of which I intend to apply to my future career.
What advice or words of wisdom can you share for other students who may be interested in pursuing this internship, or a similar one?
I would advise everyone to make the most out of their internship. This is easier said than done, but pursue every opportunity given to you. The result of those opportunities can be rewarding and could potentially have a direct impact on your future.
How did you grow as a future professional in this field?
During my internship, I took on three different roles. This provided me with plenty of insight on working in Human Resources. I may have not mastered each position, but I was able to get a better idea on which areas interested me, and which didn’t. The most important lesson I learned was to take on every opportunity head on and just hope for the best result.