Technical Support Internship Program Offers Diverse Work Experience
Ag Leader Technology has been recruiting interns for the Technical Support department since 1998. This internship program was started in an effort to provide continuing education in the field of precision agriculture through work experience. Today, our internship program is an intense, seven-month program designed to expose students to the capabilities and benefits of precision agriculture. As part of the internship program, students complete an initial six-week training course which covers the entire Ag Leader product line, daily operations, and effective phone communication techniques.
Upon completion of the training course, the Technical Support interns go to work assisting our customers and dealers with technical issues. Several of our previous interns have continued to work with Ag Leader, whether it be as part of our own Technical Support department or for a dealership selling and supporting Ag Leader products.
I would like to take a minute to introduce our two most current interns. Lewis Stearns and Bradley Heinrich began their internships in May of 2011 and both have performed exceptionally well during their time here. Lewis and Brad completed their training and have been assisting customers and dealers since late June. I am pleased to say they have been a great addition to the team. I have asked each of them to summarize their experiences here at Ag Leader.
Over the past four months, Lewis has assisted with hardware support, specializing mainly in harvest and DirectCommand™ support. Lewis is from Bloomdale, OH where his family operates a grain farm, harvesting corn, soybeans and wheat. He is currently a junior at The Ohio State University majoring in Agricultural Systems Management. When I asked Lewis about his internship experience, he said, “When I started in May, I had a very basic understanding of precision agriculture equipment and electronics in general. After many weeks of training and countless hours on the phone, I have the confidence to assist any customer with their problems. This internship has also helped me to strengthen my communication and problem-solving skills. Not only is it important to identify the problem, but it’s equally important to be able to relay the solution clearly in a manner that the end user can understand.” Lewis will be headed back to The Ohio State University this December to finish his collegiate career. On behalf of Ag Leader, I would like to thank Lewis for his effort and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
Brad has also assisted with hardware support over the last four months. Brad is transferring from Hawkeye Community College to Iowa State University this fall and is currently working towards an Agricultural Studies degree with a minor in Agricultural Systems Technology. He is originally from Wellsburg, IA where he helps his dad with their 600-acre row crop operation. When asked about his experience as a Technical Support intern, Brad replied, “I have learned a lot about the products and how it’s actually implemented in the field. Working here has helped me to improve multiple skills needed for a career in the precision ag field, such as problem solving, organization, and the ability to think quickly. The most important career skill I have gained is the ability to effectively communicate with customers over the phone. Working here has been a great learning experience.” Brad will be sticking around part-time as he begins his collegiate career at ISU, and I look forward to his future contributions to our customers and dealers.
I will be actively searching for internship candidates over the next several weeks. If you or someone you know is interested in an Ag Leader internship opportunity, please submit credentials to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line of “Internship opportunity.” In addition, Ag Leader will be attending Iowa State University's Ag Career Day tomorrow; be sure to stop by and find out more!