Written by Kendra Davis
College Station, Texas – A group of Texas A&M students have made their way to Washington D.C. and Rome, Italy for the summer to participate in the Agricultural and Natural Resources Policy (ANRP) Internship that is offered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The internship program provides students with the opportunity to work in congressional offices and various agricultural organizations, all while gaining hands-on experience regarding policy-making processes.
By participating in the program, interns are granted the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills that they have gained from the classroom by putting it to use in a professional setting, said Stephanie McMillen, director of the ANRP internship program.
“The ANRP Internship Program is one of few in the nation specifically geared toward transforming today’s agricultural students into tomorrow’s leaders,” said McMillen. “Through this opportunity, students use what they have learned in the classroom in a professional work setting. Not only will this experience be attractive to future employers, but our students are also providing valuable assistance to the offices in which they intern.”
To even be considered for the internship, students must be in the top of their class academically and are required to include letters of recommendation from professionals and professors to demonstrate that the he or she is dependable, responsible, and displays exceptional work ethic both inside and outside of the classroom. Once those hurdles are overcome then the student must navigate a series of panel interviews with 8-12 policy experts and congressional staffers.
“The application process is extremely rigorous and intensive, as we only select the most qualified individuals to participate in the program,” said McMillen.
Helen Smith, an agricultural economics major and current ANRP intern, is looking forward to sharpening her professional skills and gaining insight of public policy so that she may build a firm foundation for her future career.
“The ANRP Internship Program offers a unique opportunity to work in the heart of the nation with the purpose to gain a personal perspective of the creation of public policy, which is why I did not hesitate to apply once applications were open,” said Smith.
The program is in its 28th year of sending students on the internship. Since its inception, more than 1,000 Aggies have worked through the program. Each student receives course credit for their internship as well as a scholarship in the form of housing, which is partly supported by private donors and commodity organizations.
To learn more about the ANRP internship program, visit the program’s website at anrp.tamu.edu.