Mahala Harpster of St. Peter, Ill., is a sophomore at Southeast Missouri State University working toward a double major in agribusiness and animal science.
Mahala is interning at Southeast’s David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center this summer.
“I got this internship through my academic advisor," she says. "He asked me if I would be interested in taking it, and I was thrilled.”
Mahala says her internship offers a variety of opportunities.
“I will be working with the cattle there, checking crops and many other duties,” she says.
Mahala says she has already learned a lot from her experiences at the agriculture research center.
“I am learning so much from the experience. It has been very interesting working with cattle,” she says.
Not only is Mahala’s experience educational, but also very enjoyable.
“I have enjoyed being able to work outside all day. I love the outdoors and so that is one thing I absolutely enjoy. I am also getting to learn so much more about how a farm is run and what operating a farm entails,” she says.
“I absolutely love animals. That is why I chose the major I did,” she said, “I want to own my own dog boarding center someday.”
Mahala says she has adjusted well to Cape Girardeau.
“I am from a small town so, of course, moving here was a little overwhelming, but it’s a great town with plenty of things to do,” she explained.
Mahala says she likes to participate in many outdoor activities.
“I like to go on walks, bike ride, camp, and, of course, go to the lake,” she says.
Mahala says she has met many new and interesting people while at Southeast and has fully adjusted to living on her own. She also has learned to work and study hard.
“It was very different to me at first getting used to the college classes, but it came very easily. I’ve had some great teachers, and I know I will have more great ones before it is over,” she says.
Mahala had some advice to share with future or current Southeast students: “Take your time on school work and actually work, try hard and do your best and you will have something to show for it. Just enjoy your time at Southeast. Do all you can do when you have time, and you will enjoy it.”