There isn’t just one word that I can use to describe my time as a NASDA intern. Unique. Inspiring. Robust. Flexible. All these words, and more, could be used to represent my time as NASDA’s first communications intern.
Every experience is different, but what began as a three-month internship that then morphed into a 10-month internship can only be described as unique. I can not begin to thank everyone at NASDA for taking a chance and believing in me enough to create, and eventually extend my position. Having the opportunity to work for NASDA could only be made possible by the increased willingness to have remote employees, and for that I am grateful.
One of the most memorable moments of my internship occurred at the Annual Meeting this past September. Firstly, I got to meet all of my colleagues in person for the first time. But, in addition, I got to witness the transition of power between CEOs. Seeing how loved and supported Dr. Barb Glenn was by all the staff, and then how open and welcoming everyone was to Ted McKinney was inspiring. Seeing how every single staff member interacted with not only each other, but also the other interns, really showed me how much of a family atmosphere the organization values. I have never been a part of a more inclusive and welcoming work environment.
Throughout my internship, I had the opportunity to experience so many aspects of NASDA. My tasks ranged from working with various cooperative agreements, to events planning, to policy updates, and even behind the scenes communications planning. I learned something new from each project I worked on, and each staff member I worked with. Coming into this internship, I had a very limited knowledge on agricultural policy. However, now I have a much more comprehensive understanding on the inner workings of the industry, as well as the invaluable skills I learned in email marketing, social media, website management and more. The skills I learned at NASDA will certainly stay with me as I complete my degree and enter the workforce.
Working at NASDA, I learned how to virtually interview for a job, work remotely and balance my schoolwork. The flexibility and understanding I experienced from every NASDA staff member were something I will never forget. Even after most staff went back to work in-person over the summer, I never felt left out or a burden for continuing to work remotely. On a large-scale, it was also evident how NASDA was able to continue to adapt and succeed to put on a hybrid Annual Meeting this year. The organization saw record attendance, press traffic, and social media interactions. All of this was made possible by the combined efforts of every staff member and intern.
I cannot say thank you enough to every NASDA member and staff who made my time here one to remember. My passion for communicating about the agriculture industry was reignited, and I am so excited to finish my educational journey and begin my career. Regardless of if I end up working in the policy sector, I know I always have a home with NASDA.