Rachel Fogle's PR Internship at GROWMARK Focuses Career Direction

July 19, 2011

It's only mid-July, but Rachel Fogle has already had a very busy, and very rewarding, summer. At the end of May, she started a 12-week paid internship at GROWMARK in Bloomington, Ill.

"I knew that I wanted an internship in the agricultural community, so I looked at different agriculture companies and found GROWMARK. I was hired on the spot at my second interview," Fogle said.

Nearly 800 students have participated in the 52 year-old GROWMARK internship program. This year 41 students were selected from 18 different colleges and universities across the United States and Canada. Typically, anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of the interns have been offered full-time positions after graduation.

"It's a very highly regarded company," said Dr. Ron Koperski, associate professor of public relations in Bradley's Department of Communications.

Fogle works in GROWMARK's Energy Division as the marketing and communication intern. She makes promotional materials for the division's products.

In addition to her day-to-day responsibilities she is also working on a special project aligned with a new energy division initiative. The new campaign promotes GROWMARK's FS (Farm Services) product line with the slogan "Go Further with FS."

"I am working on the 'Go Further' website, doing search engine optimization. Essentially, I am making the website more visible on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. I like to think of it as a new form of PR, which is promoting your site on search engines in a natural, or free way -which means more money in your wallet," Fogle said.

At the end of her internship, Fogel will present her work to GROWMARK employees and Bradley faculty members Koperski and Dr. Maha Bashri, assistant professor of public relations.

This internship also includes some traveling. Fogle will fly to Council Bluffs, Iowa, from July 20 to 21.

"I'm making a brochure for our lubricant facility there and will be traveling to speak to managers and specialists about the brochure and content to include in it. I get to go at a really exciting time for them -they are celebrating the fifth anniversary of the lubricant facility!" Fogle said.

Fogel says one of the best parts of her internship is the supportive and diverse work environment.

"You are not a number at GROWMARK. You are a person, and everyone knows you by name and wants to help you in any future endeavor. When you have a break through with your project, everyone is there backing you up and challenging you to keep going further," Fogle said.

Because of this internship, Fogle now knows exactly what she wants to do after graduation.

"I believe that this internship has led me down the exact path that I want to go with my career and that is to work for an agricultural company and be an advocate for the industry," Fogle said.

"With this opportunity, Rachel has been able to get more clarification on what career area she wants to go into within the agricultural community," Koperski said.

But it seems that Fogle is most excited to present her project at the end of her time at GROWMARK.

"I can't wait to show Dr. K. and Dr. Bashri at my conclusion meeting exactly what GROWMARK has done for me and what I have learned throughout the summer down Interstate 74 in Bloomington," Fogle said.

"She's really got her heart set on a career in agriculture and we are all so proud of her accomplishments," Koperski said.