GPSI Intern Rachel Hettrick

“I love my GPSI internship at the Department of Agriculture.  For me, it is a professional internship that not only helps me pay for school, but also gives me a chance to hone my skills working in a business environment, as my background and undergraduate work were in other fields.

“I am an intern in the Bureau of of Marketing, Promotion, and Grants. I specifically work in market news, but since the Bureau is small, I assist everyone as needed. I am the current lead on the centennial and sesquicentennial farms program and am getting to help launch the two newest designations, centennial agribusiness and biocentennial farms. I also help report market trends for grain prices and voice the livestock reports on the radio. And I helped organize the annual ag-day events at the Illinois State Fair, as well as the Farm Progress Show. I have been able to use my skills from my undergraduate work in journalism and stage management, apply my new skills from my MBA classes, and learn skills on the job.

“Of course, GPSI is quite a bit of fun as well.  At the State Fair, I got to milk a cow and listen to frequent concerts from the Alley Cats. I’ve gotten to hear stories of how promotions I have worked on helped small Illinois companies.  And I’ve also heard positive praise about events I’ve helped organize. My entire Bureau is great to work with. So GPSI is a great way to not only learn and pay for school, but to have fun while doing it.”