Jennifer Gaffney: DuPont Pioneer

What has she been up to?
Jennifer Gaffney, a Biochemistry student, spent her summer interning with DuPont Pioneer in Johnston, Iowa.  As part of her internship, Jennifer collected samples from the field-corn plants and ears for lab analysis, took measurements in the field-plant heights, diameters, and leaf counts to analyze plant growth, and weighed plants to determine dry biomass.

What strengths did she utilize in her internship?
During her internship, Jennifer first strengthened her ability to work with a team.  She always worked in groups of three to six people and showed leadership by helping the group stay on task and be accurate.  She also garnered strength in efficiency.  Being responsible for weighing over 1,000 plant samples, she had to work hard to complete her tasks on time.  Finally, Jennifer was responsible.  She took her internship seriously and listened closely to ensure all instructions were understood.

How did she find out about her internship?
Jennifer found out about her internship by visiting the company’s website.  She knew the company had a good reputation, and thus took the initiative to research potential positions.  Looking at specific company websites is a great way to search for internship and job openings.

What did her supervisor have to say about her work?
Karen Thompson, Senior Research Associate, commented, “Jennifer is a very diligent worker and thinks about what she is doing. She is interested in the process and asks appropriate questions. She has a very good attitude and has worked well in some very uncomfortable situations (heat and exposure to high amounts of corn pollen).  Jennifer has the ability and the talent and she should feel confident to show people that.  We would love to have her come back and work for us again next summer.”

Why does Jennifer feel it’s important for students to intern?
Jennifer shared, “It is important for students to participate in internships because they will gain invaluable experience in their field of interest and be exposed to a typical day in the career they are interested in.  Interning helps students learn what opportunities are available for graduates in their major and helps them learn how to work in the environment typical graduates of their major work in.”

What advice does she have for future interns?
Jennifer recommended, “For students beginning an internship, I would advise them to get to know their supervisor well and work hard to become involved with as many opportunities in the company and program as possible.  The supervisor is someone that will see your work ethic and how well of a job you do, and they may recommend you for a full time job.  The more involved you are, the more questions you ask and the more the supervisor knows you, the better chance you will have at making a lasting impression and possibly receive a full time offer.”

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