In Profile: Plant and Soil Science standout Katie Setterbo is ready for the real-world
Last fall Katie Setterbo, a senior horticulture and turfgrass science major, spent her days working as a congressional intern with the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. The Fredericksburg native was one of three specially selected students to get some first-hand experience into the government’s day-to-day operations. Here, in her own words, are some of the highlights of her experience:
Q: How did you go from horticulture classes to Washington D.C.? Participating in the CASNR Congressional Internship Program in Washington D.C. was not on my “to-do list” when I first arrived at Texas Tech University in 2010. As a student studying viticulture and enology, I didn’t imagine I would be involved in anything that took me far from the field. Throughout my time at Tech, however, I have been influenced and surrounded by people who advocated on behalf of the agriculture industry, and I have seen that the opportunities go far beyond what I knew.
Q: Was your experience positive? I applied for the Congressional Internship Program desiring to learn and know more about an industry that provides so much to the global population. Interested in agricultural advocacy and awareness, I was very fortunate to be taken on as the intern for the House Committee on Agriculture under Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK). My experience with the committee not only helped me grow as a young professional, but gave me the opportunity to learn about important social issues and the political process.
Q: What was it like behind the scenes? I worked solely in the communications office for the committee and was able to assist with various press related materials and meetings related to the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (FARRM Bill), which went into conference this past fall. During my time in D.C., I learned that behind each face of a political party and congressional member works a group of dedicated and motivated individuals that put their whole heart and soul into executing action. I gained an appreciation for how issues are represented and voted on in government, which helped me grow more compassionate toward a political process I harshly had judged before.
Q: Any words of advice for someone interested in a congressional internship? There wasn’t a better way to test drive a career or assess my readiness for the real-world other than doing an internship like this one. Having to adapt to a new environment and to new people only helped me learn to accept change and overcome the obstacles life is guaranteed to bring me. My D.C. experience was invaluable and pushed me personally and professionally to learn and achieve more through my degree at Texas Tech than I ever thought possible.
CONTACT: Lori Dudley, Coordinator of Student Development, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742.2808 ext. 283 or firstname.lastname@example.org