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Student Spotlight: Rachel Walter

Blonde woman standing next to large brown horse

Rachel Walter, an ABM sophomore, had been checking for jobs since middle school. This past summer, she found the perfect opportunity for an internship that honed her management abilities and horsemanship knowledge. At Camp Carysbrook, located in the rural town of Riner, VA, she was in charge of all aspects of the horse facility and worked up to 16 hours a day supervising horse care and the riding program. We asked Rachel a few questions to learn more about her experience.

What have you learned in class that helped at your internship?

One class that helped me with my internship this summer was ARE 332, Human Resource Management and Personnel. This class gave me tools to use when conflict arose, strategies for dealing with a diverse staff, and tips for balancing various roles. 

One of Rachel’s students takes a jump head on. Rachel was nearby to make sure both horse and rider were not just safe, but having fun.

What have you learned through your internship that will help you during college?

My internship helped me improve my time management skills and that has carried over to my schoolwork. I learned to manage different things all at the same time such as Multi-tasking, planning ahead, staying in constant communication with my team, maintaining an open flow of information and learning to provide detailed instructions to my team members was essential. As a sophomore, these skills will help me in the coming years stay on top of homework and projects.

I enjoyed having the freedom to be a leader and try new styles of leadership. I learned that if something doesn’t work out, just try something different!

Why did you choose AgBusiness Mgmt?

I choose ABM because I knew I wanted to go into the business side of the equine industry. Majoring in ABM paired with a minor in animal science would give me the knowledge I need to pursue a career in this field. I knew I had a great work history, but I also knew I would need the education to get me where I want to go in the industry.

How has the ABM program helped you pursue your goals?

My education has not only taught me knowledge in the classroom that I will need going into the industry, but also various professional and workplace skills that will translate over to any job. I appreciate the career fairs and plan to take part in a mock interview so I can prepare for another internship and eventually a full-time job.

What was a defining moment of your internship?

One of the most memorable moments was when I leading a group through the river on horseback.  I noticed there was a snake in the water, which can easily spook the horses, and the kids riding them. I quietly and quickly got everyone out of the river safely without them even noticing the nearby snake. That was just one test of my leadership abilities that summer.

I highly recommend that my fellow students complete a summer internship because it is a great way to learn more about yourself while preparing for the future.