YOU NEED TO KNOW: Sarah Stephenson
BY Libby knizley, Junior/Agricultural Communications
Sarah Stephenson is a junior studying poultry science production and is originally from Danville. She is in her second year as vice president of Ag Council and works in the Student Services office. She has completed poultry internships in Washington, D.C., Canada and Eufaula. Sarah hopes to obtain a position in sales, ideally leading into international sales and market development.
What drew you to Auburn University and the College of Agriculture?
The people. I knew that I loved agriculture and the poultry industry, but I thought I would study business and finance at the University of Alabama and then get back into the industry. I visited both campuses and fell in love with the folks here at Auburn.
What advice do you have for students looking at Auburn University and the College of Agriculture?
Find your place here in the College of Agriculture. Teachers, bankers, ranchers, scientists, veterinarians, doctors, farmers, philanthropists – they’ve all come out of the College of Ag here at Auburn. Figure out what you love, find other people who love it, learn from them, and then do it.
What is your favorite Auburn tradition? What has been your most exciting moment here at Auburn?
This sounds cheesy, but I simply love a good “War Eagle!” I’ve heard it in airports across the country, I’ve heard it from professors, and I’ve heard it from fans on game day. It’s the one thing that unites Auburn men and women around the globe. It makes us family. I adore that.
How did you get involved as a student worker in the Student Services office?
When I first came to Auburn, I worked on the poultry research farm, and my sophomore year I worked in a lab for Dr. Dozier, a professor in poultry science. I had my fill of those, so I just point-blank asked Amanda Martin, the recruiter for the college, about working in the Student Services office, and she was crazy enough to accept. I’m a big believer in James 4:2, “You have not because you ask not.”
What are some of the benefits of working for your college?
– The relationships: you’ll work with folks you wouldn’t have known otherwise. Those professors and staff can play a huge role in your success here at Auburn and in your career.
– The skills: technical skills, lab skills and public service skills. One of my greatest takeaways has been fine-tuning my soft skills in the Student Services office.
– The flexibility: it is a great thing to build relationships and develop professionally; it is even better that student workers have the benefit of doing it on their own time. There have been a number of busy days where I’ve stayed later into the evening at my student worker job, but there have also been days where I studied instead of working, and my superiors were okay with that.
What is some advice you have for students wanting to get an on-campus job but worried about balancing it with school and club involvement?
Give every hour an assignment. Use a planner (I love a Moleskine), an Outlook calendar or a to-do list. You’ll rarely find me without a running list of goals to accomplish during the day. I’ll be honest; there are a few sacrifices that have to be made. You’ll watch very little TV, be happy with five hours of sleep and eat at strange times, but that’s part of it, and you’ll learn to thrive with a busy schedule. Make a plan and work it.
Libby Knizley is a junior studying agricultural communications and is originally from Mobile. Upon graduation, Libby hopes to work with agribusinesses in handling the allocation of produce within local communities or abroad.