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Sprouting with the State Department of Agriculture, Meet Anne

Anne Kissel is a junior from Zionsville, Indiana with a double major in Agricultural Communication and English Literature. This past summer, Anne had the opportunity to complete the Indiana State Department of Agriculture International Trade Program Internship. Combining her 10+ years of experience in 4-H with her passion for Ag Communication, Anne believes this experience was right up her alley, and she could not be more grateful for the connections she made this summer.

What attracted you to this position?

I had always been interested in working for the government in some capacity because I liked the idea of advocating for the agriculture industry at the government level. I became aware of this particular opportunity through a connection I made through my sorority.

What was the hiring process like?

I corresponded via email with the person who would eventually become my supervisor after the initial introduction was made. We spoke on the phone a few times and I eventually went to the State Department for an in-person interview. I was hired that afternoon.

What was your overall experience like working there and what did your typical day look like?

Working at the State Department was an interesting learning experience because I had the opportunity to learn a lot about foreign markets through research that I would conduct for reports. A typical day looked like attending meetings, conducting email correspondence for my supervisor, doing research regarding the current state of the US Agriculture and International Trade program, and combining all of my research into reports that would be sent out on the behalf of my department.

Did you get any cool perks working for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture?

I know how to navigate the tunnels underneath the Indiana Statehouse now!

Do you feel that your education and past internships helped prepare you for this one? If so, how?

My education within the School of Communication prepared me for some of the community outreach that was necessary for this internship. My internship last summer with the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce also gave me the organization and corporate communication skills necessary to execute this internship to the best of my ability. The main thing that prepared me for this job, however, was my 10+ year membership with 4-H. Being a member of 4-H taught me a lot about the agriculture industry, and has given me a lot of respect and understanding for the people who work in it.

Anne with other interns and the staff of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

What did this job teach you about yourself?

I learned that working for government was not quite what I expected, but it was still a valuable learning experience.

Where do you see yourself working post-graduation?

As I am a junior, I still have some time left at Purdue, but I feel confident in the experience I gained at the State Department of Agriculture. I believe the connections I made there will serve me well going forward in my professional career.

What career advice would you give to underclassmen?

Take full advantage of the connections within your personal life. Who do your parents know? Who do your friends’ parents know? Who are your mentors and who are their connections? Ask yourself what you’re interested in and actively seek out people who can help you get there. You might be surprised by who helps you land that next job or the internship you’ve been gunning for.

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