Internships Sharpen Entrepreneurial Edge

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2011-01-01
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College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is one of the world's leading institutions of agriculture. Building on 150 years of excellence the college provides leadership in science, education and research, areas vital to the future of Iowa, the nation and the world.

History
The roots of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences go back to 1858 when Iowa established the State Agricultural College and Model Farm. It officially opened in 1869 as the first coed land-grant in the nation. That was among many college “firsts,” including the first courses in forestry, dairying and bacteriology in the nation. (Learn More)

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1858–present

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  • Department of Agriculture (1858–1959)
  • College of Agriculture (1959–2007)

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Working alongside the owner of a company is standard practice for interns participating in the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Stacy Noe, program coordinator for the initiative, manages the internship program. It started with three students in 2007, and today more than 40 companies have participated to support 20 internships annually. "The biggest difference compared to typical internships is that these students are exposed to the challenges of running the business because they are involved in the operation of the entire company," Noe says. Entrepreneurial mentors are matched with the right students for the best experience. That match worked for Shane Mairet ('09 horticulture) when he interned at Wallace's Garden Center in Bettendorf, Iowa. The internship served as a springboard for Mairet, who opened his own business two weeks after graduation. "I met a lot of people, including distributors and suppliers, which turned out to be significantly important when I opened my own garden center," Mairet says.

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