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September 27, 2022

Through internship, SVSU student gains experience in the field

young woman standing in soybean field

Spending time in soybean fields led Saginaw Valley State University student Avery Claybaugh to find her future career field. 

A business major with an agricultural studies minor from Weidman, northwest of Mt. Pleasant, Claybaugh serves as an intern with the Michigan Soybean Committee, where she’s been gaining experience in a variety of areas. 

 “I wanted to apply to intern at Michigan Soybean Committee because it was unlike anything else I have done thus far,” Claybaugh said. “I got to assist everyone on the team in their different specialties like communications, market development and research. I am forever grateful for the experiences I have had and the industry connections I’ve made.”   

The Michigan Soybean Committee, which is headquartered in St. John’s, is a farmer-led membership organization that directs Michigan’s soybean checkoff program, providing research and promotion for its members. 

“I did fieldwork for them all throughout the summer,” Claybaugh said. “I would say about one day a week was devoted to traveling to many different farmers’ fields all throughout the state of Michigan to collect data for our on-farm trials.”

The data collected will allow the organization to provide farmers with information about what is helpful to the soybeans and what may be hurting them.    

She credits what she’s learned so far at SVSU with helping her in the field.  

Growing up in a small, rural town gives Claybaugh an appreciation for the contributions of farmers and the challenges they face. She plans to return to a rural community after earning her SVSU degree. 

“After graduation, I plan on working for an agribusiness,” she said. “There are a lot of opportunities that can come from a business degree, and because of this I am still figuring out what career is my best fit, but I’m leaning towards marketing or human resources for an agribusiness. 

Claybaugh values her internship experience and encourages other students to pursue internships as well.  

“Internships are important in your education because they provide you with real-world experience and also provide you with many connections that you can use when continuing your future career,” she said.  

“Through the knowledge I’ve gained through the classroom I’ve learned so much about my field and where I want to go after graduation, so this is just a step to take my knowledge from the classroom into the real world and apply it into my future career.”   

Learn more about Avery Claybaugh’s internship experience: video.