University of Kentucky 

Student Relations and Communications Intern for UK Ag Equine Programs

Internship Project Summary Poster

Research on use, management and distribution on America's Wild Mustangs

Reflection Essay

           As my undergrad experience comes to a close, it’s easy to get lost in the chaos of what it means to be a college graduate. Higher expectations of yourself, other’s higher expectations of you, the pressure of finding a full-time position to support your livelihood that utilizes your degree and so much more. It’s important to take the time to look back at where you started and how you got to where you are today, and where you can end up.

            When I first started at the University of Kentucky in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, I thought I knew whole-heartedly where I would end up after college. I would get a degree in Equine Science and Management and precedingly go on to work with the wild mustangs out west with the Bureau of Land Management. I thought I knew what my life would look like, but now that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The past four years have taught me a lot about who I want to be in the future, how I can continue to grow, and what I value in life.

            I spent the vast majority of my time in college working outside of classes and not getting your typical, friend filled, extra-curricular activity track. From being a full-time nanny, to managing play groups at a dog kennel, selling clothes at a women’s business professional store, interning with different departments in the college, participating in a research project with Reforest the Bluegrass and so much more, I became disciplined. Learning how to balance my time between my education and employment became the  most valuable experience I had during my college career. I believe it set me up for unparalleled success to help me in any future endeveavor.

            A few days before my freshman year ended, I rescued my first dog. At the time, he was a 5-and-a-half-month-old German Shepherd male, who had already been owned by three people. I named him Taro, after the war journalist Gerda Taro, and he taught me patience and grace as I worked for his behavioral problems. I rescued my second dog later that year, a 10-month-old Siberian Husky that I called Capa, for Robert Capa (Gerda Taro’s Life Partner). They both have forced me to plan, be responsible, to be prepared for the unexpected.

            The Equine Program at the University of Kentucky taught me more than I can even put into words. It was the catalyst that drove me to start my own business, after being inspired and pushed by my peers. Without them, I’m not sure if I would have discovered what I truly am passionate about, nor what I was good at.

            All of my life experience over the past four years, combined with the Ag Equine Programs, prepared me for whatever comes at me next. No matter where life takes me, I know that I have a solid foundation of knowledge, understanding and strength to find my way through the next steps. I could see myself entering a full-time career in the communications field, maybe eventually working with the Bureau of Land Management, or something completely different. I think that’s the benefit of having such a wide skillset working through so many positions and having a program that teaches you specific but widely appliable skills across the board.