Poultry science major Emily Hopson’s three-month internship with Sanderson Farms, the third largest poultry company in the nation, ends August 11. Before she returns to SFA for the fall semester, we caught up with her to learn more about her time at the company’s Waco division, as well as her future plans in the poultry industry.
What where your duties as an intern?
As a production intern I spent two weeks in each production department, which includes the hatchery, feed mill, broilers, breeders and live haul. This meant working at Sanderson Farms facilities - the hatchery and feed mill - as well as being out in the field on location - broilers, breeders and live haul. My duties were department specific. For example, at the hatchery I primarily dealt with eggs and chicks, but didn’t interact with the chicks pass the hatching stage. While out in the field, I spent time at the farms where the chickens are actually developing.
How will this experience benefit your undergraduate career?
As a poultry science major, this experience has really advanced my undergraduate career in a positive way. I was able to see hands-on how the production side of the poultry industry operates. This allowed me to learn so many new things about the industry from the perspective of a student and an employee. I knew I wanted my undergraduate degree to be in poultry science for a long time, but I never knew what kind of career I could pursue after graduation. Now I have learned of the many potential career opportunities a poultry science major has in the poultry industry, especially with Sanderson Farms. With that knowledge I am more excited and motivated than ever to continue pursuing my undergraduate degree so I can begin my career.
What was your favorite aspect of the internship?
This is pretty tough to answer as I have so many favorite memories of this internship. Since I have to pick though, my favorite part has to be working along side the Sanderson employees, as well as my fellow interns. This is such a welcoming company, and the other interns and I were really treated like family by all other employees. Also, speaking of the other interns, it was really nice to be able to relate with each other. We are college students of all different ages, majors and universities; but, interning with Sanderson Farms allowed us to share a common connection.
How did you learn about the internship?
I first heard about this internship when Sanderson's corporate recruiter, Sandy Brownlee, spoke in my introductory poultry class last spring. From there she spoke about the Super Chicken Roadshow that Sanderson Farms holds once a year for universities. This is a two-day event focused on interviewing prospective summer interns and providing further information on the company. I knew that this was really something I should look into, so I signed up to attend with Dr. Bray. All I can say now is I couldn’t be more blessed with the outcome.