John Deere Summer

Boy does time fly. After 10 weeks with John Deere, my amazing summer internship is wrapping up. I finished my final presentation to upper marketing management and my department on Friday. In the next two weeks I will be finishing up a few final projects including John Deere’s large ag engagement social media for the rest of 2013, attending Ag Media Summit in Buffalo, NY and attending John Deere’s product intro event in Columbus, Ohio. After a summer full of fun and learning I am excited to head back to the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Being away has taught me a few major lessons though.
1. Trust. One of the hardest things to earn from others. I have had to place a lot of trust in my roommates and fellow interns. You may not know, but I spent the summer eight hours from home in Kansas City, Kansas without a vehicle. Now this wouldn’t be that hard for some people, but I have lived in Wisconsin my entire life. I have had access to a vehicle whenever I needed since campus is only a half hour from my home, and my parents have been just as easily accessible. I placed trust in my fellow interns to get me to work and make sure I was able to have fun on the weekends too. Thank you to all the interns who helped me get to where I needed.
2. Trust is also one of the easiest things to loose. On the note of not having a vehicle, I am very appreciative for my roommate who graciously let me borrow her truck, even after a huge and expensive mistake. After borrowing her very noisy, diesel sounding, but gas running truck, I filled it with diesel. In return for letting me borrow it, I wanted to return it with a full tank. Two miles down the six lane highway it stopped running. I am thankful I was placed with a Texas girl who is forgiving and slow to anger. I was the one crying on the phone and she made sure everything was going to be okay. More than $1000 and five trips to different car repair shops, the truck is running again and she is still talking to me. I am thankful that she placed a trust back in me to make my mistake right in the end. Another lesson…money fixes a lot of things and what it doesn’t fix, trust, compassion, a sense of humor and a good personality will.
3. I learned to ask questions too…questions about the type of fuel to run in a truck and about the type of goals people have in their lives. I learned a lot about the people I am with and the goals people have for their future, as well as how they got to where they are now. Events that happened at home that changed their life direction and what they plan to do in the future. Asking questions about jobs and job descriptions, truck fuel and life goals and ambitions are important. Asking questions also helps you meet and bond with some pretty amazing people. If anybody ever needs any auto work done in KC, Eilenburgers Automotive is the place to go….they have the best people working for them and the manager is one of the most down to earth people I ever met.
4. Life is more than work. During this summer I spent my time working and doing my best for the internship I had. John Deere is an outstanding company, but one that reminds its employees that work isn’t everything. Coming to work every day is necessary so that we can have lives outside of work and money to pay for living. Yeah, it is a big part of your life…a part you spend eight hours per day, five days a week on, but it isn’t your entire life. I am so grateful for the company I had the opportunity to work with, the people in my department who were a fantastic support system and the lessons I learned on the job. One of the greatest lessons being that life outside of the job is just as, or more important than the 40 hours we spend at work weekly.
5. Mentors aren’t always those named, but those which you share information with and have a lasting lifetime impact. I had two assigned mentors at John Deere, my boss and advisor. By the end of the summer, I think of them as not only mentors, but friends who I can trust and people who will be in my life in the future. I thank Barry for his humor, card tricks and management style. Pam has been instrumental in my success with Deere and an important part of my summer. In addition to my boss and advisor, I have identified Erica as a mentor. She has shared her work path with me and assisted me as I make decisions about the future. My roommate Caitlin has also been an amazing mentor as she is in her second internship with Deere. I have been blessed with great people and amazing mentors.
6. My parents always told me to make good decisions, and if I wasn’t going to make good decisions, I should always judge those bad decisions on whether or not they may be life changing. This leads to my next lesson…you always need to be careful. I am a college student who likes to go out and have fun, like most other college students. Go out, have fun, live life but be careful.
7. Timing is everything. Timing in relationships and job offers is undeniable. You never know what will happen…or not happen, all because of timing. Relationships rely on timing. Attraction is important, but being single at the same time and in the same city at the same time are all just as important. I guess all we can do is move on and place hope in the future. Internship opportunities and job offers are only accepted if given at the right time. There is no international offer and acceptance date…sometimes we just need to take chances and trust that we’ll make the right decisions. Timing is everything.
8. Friends will get you through anything. Friendships take cultivating and time to develop, but sometimes your best friends aren’t based on the amount of time you have known them, but the quality of the time, conversations and life events you share with them. I am thankful for all the people I met throughout my lifetime and the people who I’ve had long phone conversations with, the people who have sent me snail mail, emails, snapchats and texts. I appreciate all the people from home who I can count on to still be there when I return even when distance keeps us apart.
9. After a summer spent in KC, I have gained a greater appreciation for people who don’t worry and don’t let other people judge their decisions. In the end, we have to do what makes us individually happy. Life isn’t about what others think or say, it is about what makes each individual person happy. There is no reason to judge others or think of them differently because of the things they have done, we all need to live our own lives.
10. Time flies when you are having fun! Life has this funny way of moving faster than anyone can ever imagine. After a spring of excitement and anticipation and maybe a little fear, I moved to Kansas without knowing anyone. I have made some amazing friends and feel blessed with the time I have had to learn about a new city and grow on my own. I have a greater appreciation for this little part of the world I call home in Madison, Wisconsin. But, I also now realize that there is more to this world than I ever thought. Madison is an amazing city, but there are so many places and cultures in this world I have yet to explore. I am excited to go back to my corner of the universe for another year of college, but excited for what the future has to hold. I know I want to travel, meet new people and explore other areas of the United States and world. What an amazing world we live in.
Anyone who is debating taking an internship in another place, away from home my advice is to take it while you are young. I have such an appreciation for Madison, but your views are skewed until you have seen something else. Yeah, I only moved eight hours away, but I still saw something far different from home. I experienced Kansas, lived with someone from Texas and learned about the culture there has opened my eyes to problems we still face every day in the United States. As wild and crazy as we get back home, we are sheltered to the problems in the world and the things that happen even in our own country. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I missed a party or two in Madison, I missed Lodi and WI State Fair, and I missed some valuable family time, but I got to learn about media communications, visit K-State, go to Power and Light Bar District for some neat concerts, meet some amazing people and created memories I wouldn’t have experienced if I had stayed in Wisconsin all summer. Modern technology has kept me close with family and friends and helped me to have an amazing summer, even away from home!