First, there was that swine management class that required all work to be done in small groups — no exceptions. That taught teamwork skills crucial in a busy office environment.
Then came the careers course that simplified the job search process and let students hone their interview skills.
By the time Taylor Knittel earned her degree from the Department of Animal Science at NC State, she was ready to hit the ground running.
“I really felt like I found my home here,” Knittel said. “They told me Animal Science would give me a small-school feel with big-school opportunities, and that’s exactly what I found here.”
In addition to her coursework, the department offered Knittel a wealth of enriching extracurriculars. She was an officer in the Animal Science Club, where she learned how to resolve thorny issues as an executive board and how to budget for an organization. She also worked for Extension Horse Husbandry, which houses the NC 4-H Horse Program that inspired Knittel to an agricultural career in the first place.
“My advice to future students is to take every opportunity you come across — it’s good experience, whether it’s your dream job or not,” Knittel said. “There’s so much opportunity here on campus.”
Now, she gives back to the next generation of CALS graduates, helping them navigate their academic careers in her role in CALS Academic Programs.
No two days are alike, Knittel said. One day, she’ll help plan a CALS Ambassadors event; the next, she might meet with students in the CALS Honors Program. The one constant: she’s always working with students, helping answer their questions and connect them with resources they might not yet realize they need.
“It’s rewarding to be on the other side and see what goes on behind the scenes,” Knittel said.