Disney internship ‘gave me a better understanding of what I want to do’

Recent graduate Katie Skalicky knew the opportunities and resources available at NDSU could set her up for success. Taking advantage of these led her to an internship that helped develop valuable career skills and knowledge of her field.

In spring 2019, Skalicky completed a plant sciences internship with the Walt Disney Co. She was introduced to the opportunity through the plant sciences department.

As a sand rotation intern, Skalicky worked in the greenhouses at Disney’s Epcot theme park in Florida. Her work was a perfect fit because she emphasized biotechnology study within her plant sciences major. She also was able to share knowledge from her classes with greenhouse tour guests.

“Internships help you learn about your field,” said Skalicky, who earned her bachelor’s degree in 2020. “I learned that I love educating people about agriculture, which gave me a better understanding of what I want to do.”

Skalicky, from Owatonna, Minnesota, knew the internship would be a unique experience that would set her apart in the job market. Not only did it give her knowledge of her field, but she also gained flexibility and people skills.

“In most fields, there is a lot of on-the-job learning,” Skalicky said. “Having an understanding of practical job skills helps me stand out from other candidates when I start my career.”

The resources available to NDSU students helped Skalicky as she navigated the internship process. She worked with mentors at the Career and Advising Center and was part of the NDSU Internship Program. The program allowed her to receive credit for the internship and remain a full-time student.

“NDSU has a lot of resources to make students the most well-rounded professionals they can be,” Skalicky said. “Taking advantage of those resources and making connections with mentors allowed me to make the most of my experience at NDSU.”

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