WSU student finds internship opportunity through AFA

By Carmen Chandler, CAHNRS Academic Programs

At her first in-person Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Leaders Conference, WSU student Della Paloy met representatives from a well-known food company. She turned in a resume for their summer internship program and, a week after the conference, Della received an internship interview offer from Land O’Lakes.

Della Paloy stands in front of a glass pyramid on the WSU Pullman campus.
Della Paloy

“It was probably the most life-changing email I’ve ever gotten,” Della said. “I had to reread it several times!”

Della is a second-year Agricultural and Food Business Economics student and AFA ambassador. She recently accepted an internship offer with Land O’Lakes following her involvement with AFA.

Last year, as a first-year student, Della had a vision for her post-college career but did not know how to make that happen. After discovering AFA through her college advisor, she applied to participate in an AFA conference without knowing the full benefits of AFA involvement.

AFA is a nonprofit organization aimed at helping college students network and develop their professional skills. AFA works to build leaders through various programs and events that foster positive engagement within the agriculture industry.

Della attended her first AFA Leaders Conference last year, virtually meeting with industry leaders in her fields of interest. After hearing from professionals, Della began to see the different possibilities in an agriculture career.

Della’s favorite part of each AFA Conference is attending the final opportunity fair, where students can discover graduate schools, internships, and opportunities abroad. Major agriculture employers showcase their student employment opportunities and engage with students to help them discover possible career paths. AFA provides other resources such as resume building and personal goal setting to help students excel in their professional careers.

“Every area that a student could need help in, AFA had resources for it,” Della said.

After experiencing her first AFA conference, Della decided that she wanted to expand her involvement with AFA at WSU. Last year, Della was selected to become an AFA ambassador for the 2021-22 school year. She is currently searching for other WSU students who need help getting involved in their agriculture careers. In her ambassador position, Della has been able to connect WSU students with AFA opportunities. This year, Della aims to focus on name recognition to spread awareness of AFA.

Della jokes how “AFA is the best-kept secret in the agriculture industry, but we don’t want to be!”

Della plans to spend the coming summer as a supply chain and sourcing intern doing research with Land O’Lakes. She will be presenting a final research project to the internship program leaders at the end.

Della intends to continue her work next school year as an AFA Campus Ambassador. She hopes to connect with more WSU students to show them the opportunities that can be found through AFA.