Prior to deciding what I was going to do for the summer, I had numerous options running through my mind: 1.) I could go home for the summer to lend a hand to my parents with farming/ranching which would be VERY helpful to them, 2.) I could take summer classes and stay inManhattanto graduate early or 3.) Obtain an internship hopefully from 1 of the 4 companies I applied to, to help me decipher what I want to do with the rest of my life. While I pondered these options and after hearing disappointing news from 3 of the 4 companies that they had already hired there summer interns, I had faith in my last company, Pfizer Animal Health. A couple months later I got a step closer by getting a phone interview and then with a follow up call that I had got the internship. After telling my parents I wouldn’t be there to help them this summer (which went better than I thought it would), I packed up my stuff and headed to Kalamazoo,Michigan.
I had not a clue what I was going to get myself into as the internship description was very brief due to Pfizer’s confidentiality policy. After meeting my supervisor, I entered my first week of the internship and went through training. As weeks passed I was working both downtown and at the farm preparing protocols, attending team meetings, processing cattle, going to family farms … etc.
It was a busy internship which I really enjoyed. I was involved primarily in cattle studies and one swine study. The cattle studies were focused on trying to alleviate the #1 challenge for producers today, respiratory diseases, both viral and bacterial. Moreover, I spent most of my time assisting in the development of vaccines for cattle or improving those that are on the market already.
I got to meet 30 other great interns that had diverse backgrounds, and they all had a variety of positions from veterinary assistants to statistics to chemistry. Overall, it was one of the greatest internships that I could have ever asked for. Although I can’t say every detail of my internship, it was a heck of a learning experience where I got a 10 week job interview, great pay and available overtime. I have learned so many valuable lessons while stepping into the “work force.” I know that I don’t really prefer an 8 to 5 type of job because of the freedom I had growing up on the farm, I don’t want to graduate early, I don’t particularly care for paperwork, and how small the agricultural world is getting by making numerous connections with Pfizer colleagues. I’d encourage any other undergrad, vet student or even graduate student to apply for the variety of internships Pfizer offers in January. If you are one that gets concerned about being away from home—step out of your comfort zone and take the chance to see what it feels like to work at a great company. It will be one of the best summers of your life without a doubt!
By Beth Holz