‘You have time’: Fall grad Abbi Prins finds opportunities on, beyond campus

Abbi Prins
Fall 2021 Animal Sciences graduate Abbi Prins continues her career in the dairy industry after college, an internship, and work experience.

Graduating this fall, Abbi Prins will build an already-launched career in the dairy industry after making a big impact at WSU as an Animal Sciences major and CAHNRS Ambassador.

Hailing from Tulare, Calif., Prins is passionate about dairy science and about helping fellow Cougs.

“Growing up, I always wanted to go to college and gain a higher education,” Prins said. “My passion has always been with dairy cattle, and I wanted to build upon the foundation that I had created through 4-H, FFA, and the State and National Holstein Associations.”

WSU Animal Sciences gave her opportunities to get involved in research, work a job, and gain hands-on experience with dairy, beef, sheep, and deer, diversifying her animal knowledge.

“The community aspect of college, especially at WSU and in CAHNRS, really drew me into the Animal Sciences program, and I knew I was going to be successful in my endeavors,” Prins said.

The highlight of her college experience was her role as a CAHNRS Ambassador. These students help peers and prospective Cougs learn about and maximize their college experience, and Prins served throughout her time at WSU, holding the president’s position for a year.

“The best moments were always meeting with prospective students, sharing my story and experiences in and outside of the classroom, then seeing them on campus as a WSU student a year later after their visit,” Prins said. “To have that level of impact on someone’s life is monumental, and to give back to new students was such a gift that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

After completing a dairy industry internship in 2020, she was hired and began her career for a year before returning to finish her final semester this past fall. That experience helped her focus her long-term career plans. Her goal is to gain real-world, production experience before pursuing an advanced degree; she plans to pursue a career in the dairy industry, working with calves in the Midwest.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to network with faculty and peers in this area,” she said. “It’s not always what you know, but who you know; and I know that the relationships I have built at WSU will last a lifetime.

“It was worth the investment to learn in and beyond the classroom, and to push yourself to new limits,

Prins added. “I would have never imagined the opportunities that would be provided because I searched for them, and they opened doors I didn’t even know existed.”

Her awards in CAHNRS include Emerging Undergraduate Leader in Agricultural Sciences in 2020 and nomination for Outstanding Junior in Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences in 2021.

“Always have at least one back-up plan,” Prins advises fellow students. “You have time! There is time to find a job, a career path, and to network with those around you: you are not behind.”