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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Houston rodeo offers students practical experience

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo-goers have probably heard plenty of “Howdys” from the approximated 300 Texas A&M student interns working the three-week event this year.
Deanna Bosse, Houston Rodeo internship advisor and agricultural leadership, education and communications graduate student, said A&M has been sending students to intern at the Houston Rodeo for over 30 years.
“A&M by far is the largest [participating university] with close to 250 interns through our program, [with] more A&M interns sent from the animal science department also,” Bosse said. “Texas Tech probably has the next highest participation rate, but is nothing close to A&M’s caliber.”
Jill Lazek, senior health major, was a student intern for the Houston Rodeo this year. She said her favorite part was hearing the questions people ask.
“For some people this is the first time they’ve seen a live animal so they ask funny questions like ‘Does chocolate milk come from a brown cow’ and all sorts of funny things like that,” Lazek said.
Bosse said student interns are given assignment to run popular exhibits on the rodeo’s grounds.
“We send interns to a couple different places – AgVenture, Fun on the Farm, Poultry, Video, Livestock Office, Writing and Social Media,” Bosse said. “The first four are the largest areas and they are essentially in charge of those exhibits at HLSR so they work in groups to get the job done.”
For most of the interns, Bosse said the Houston Rodeo goes back to their roots.
“Most of these students grew up showing at HLSR and cannot wait to get back to the grounds and help out,” Bosse said. “All of our interns are extremely dedicated and hard working. They work long hours on the grounds and manage the public and livestock, sometimes at the same time.”
Deborah Dunsford, agricultural communications and journalism professor at A&M and the overseer of student interns, said working with the students is rewarding even in the face of the job’s challenges.
Dunsford, who has played a part in connecting A&M students to the Houston Rodeo since 1996, said her favorite part of the program is seeing the students make connections with people who can teach them about their future careers. She said intern positions cover a wide variety of fields, such as media, business and agriculture. Students could work behind cameras, write newsletters or work with both human and livestock visitors, she said.
Students work in groups of 12-16 to learn teamwork and accomplish daily goals, Dunsford said. Any students interested in the interning next year should contact her early in Spring 2015, she said.

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