Living on Campus

by Kayleigh Metz

A huge part of college is campus housing. I know I wanted to experience what it was like to really live on my own, and I also knew I wanted to be a Buckeye. When I visited Ohio State ATI, we toured the campus housing complex, Applewood Village. ATI students live in on-campus apartments located in Applewood Village! The apartments have a full kitchen and plenty of cabinet space for food. They even have living rooms to hang out in with all of your friends. I knew living in the apartments would involve cooking and cleaning and all that good stuff, but I also needed it to feel like home. Luckily, campus housing here has provided me with a home-away-from-home feeling.

Leaving home was a little scary, but I was excited for the road ahead. I met plenty of people here and always have a place to go if I want to get out of the apartment. My friends and I started doing dinner together every night. We all help and chip in with whatever we’re cooking, or even if we want to order pizza together. People I know from back home had a Super Bowl party on Sunday, and we cooked on the grill on our back patio while someone else was fixing nachos and cheese in a crockpot. “Family night,” as we call it, is one of our favorite things at ATI.

During the day when we need a snack, you can usually find us at the café here at ATI, Café Carmen. After our early morning classes or labs, we stop and get breakfast—like home fries or breakfast sandwiches, or sometimes something as simple as fruit loops and milk. Before our afternoon classes, we all meet up for lunch. Our favorites at the café are the chicken tenders and cheese fries, General Tso chicken, and the chicken patty sandwich. When you’re in a hurry, you can even take it to go so you can have a snack in class. Or you can take it back to your apartment or to the library to eat and study! Although Café Carmen isn’t open for dinner, there are plenty of ways to eat on campus, off campus, or with your friends!

Program Excel

by Marshall Firestone

There were many options that came to my mind when it came to college, but there was only one that had my heart: a college located in Columbus, OH with a tradition as strong as time, The Ohio State University. A large campus where I could network with people in the hustle and bustle of the city and one where I could hopefully find myself in the process. But instead of going directly to Columbus, I spent the first three years of my undergraduate studies at the regional campus in Wooster, OH.

Starting at the Wooster campus has provided me an opportunity to become a student ambassador as well as to excel in my class work. I qualified for a program at Ohio State ATI called Program Excel. It’s a resource that students can be eligible for starting their freshman year and has many things that can help. These range from mentors to help with a student’s plan, tutors to help with troubling subjects, or even early visits to the Columbus Campus. All these resources are here to help the student to stay on track to graduate.

The thing I personally rely on most is the personalized mentor to help students. Within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, students have an academic advisor that helps with academic processes. The mentor through Program Excel, however, also helps make sure that a student stays on track to do well in the college setting, and is also someone you can meet with to get more help with daily struggles. I meet with my mentor at least once a semester, if not more. During the meetings we sit down and talk about what’s going on in my life, inside and outside of the classroom. My mentor will ask how I’m doing in tough classes and if I need help in them. She will also discuss my transition process to the Columbus Campus that starts two semesters before I begin classes there. This mentor is someone that I know will always support and push me to do better in class and in my extracurricular activities.

Alongside the mentors of Program Excel, tutors are also provided in the program to help with classes like Chemistry, Biology, and some major-specific classes. I have always been able to excel in the science-based classes, but coming to college made me put in even more work than I had during high school. For example, I took a genetics class here at Ohio State ATI and I was doing decently in the history portion of the class, but not necessarily when it came to computing different statistics or knowing about different inheritance levels of certain genes. My friends and I went to the tutor for that class, and it helped us understand the material. In the small group of students meeting with the tutor, we were able to ask questions, and after that exam, the group of students were among those receiving the top grades on the exam.

Not only does Program Excel assist students while on the ATI campus, it also helps students start the transition process to the Columbus Campus. I was among a group of students visiting the Columbus campus last semester, and it was a learning moment that will stay with me my entire career. The visit to the Columbus camps is probably be the best thing I have done through Program Excel. I was petrified about going to Columbus before that visit day, but now that I participated in this event, I feel absolutely assured that I will grow into an amazing person on that campus.

We left Wooster for the Columbus visit day around 7:00 a.m. (Students can drive down themselves, but the university also provided transportation.) When we arrived at the Columbus Campus, the first building we saw was the Agricultural Administration building. This building is where students can get help if they need it and there is also a library there. We had a quick breakfast and then sat down to get an overview of the day.

The students were divided into groups to talk about things that are exciting and scaring us about the transition process. I realized during this time that although people are transitioning at different times and within different programs, we are all worried about similar things. After the group work, we were sorted into two larger groups. One group went on a campus tour of the agriculture campus, while the other sat down with the transition team at the Columbus Campus.

My group met with the transition team first. After this session, you could see that everyone was more relaxed about the process. I know I personally was worried about whether the classes I will be taking on the Columbus Campus will be harder. But the team reassured me that the classes may be harder but there are just as many people on the Columbus Campus that want me to succeed as there are on the Wooster Campus.

After that, my group went on a tour of the campus. When thinking about how big the Columbus Campus is, it was very relaxing to see that the agricultural campus is relatively the same size as ATI. After the tour, we got together again to ride of the “scary” campus bus system. The ride was not scary at all. In fact, many of the students thought that the ride was pleasant and might consider it for transportation on campus. When we got off the bus, we visited one of the dining halls, a gym, and one of the campus housing options for first- and second-year students.

We also met with the person in charge of off-campus housing, Willie Young. He talked to us about landlord issues and roommate agreements, and he said to talk with him and his staff if we had any questions. That was toward the end of the visit, so all the students left the Columbus Campus with loads of knowledge, not to mention a free Nike OSU logo backpack!

Program Excel is an amazing tool for students while on the Wooster Campus. It allows for students to make sure they are doing the things that are needed for when they continue their education. The mentors are there to make sure students are studying but also living life. The tutors are there to make sure students fully understand the classes here, since the Columbus classes will build upon that knowledge. The Visit Day can show students that the Columbus campus is not to be feared and has just as many, if not more, resources for helping students. All in all, Program Excel is among one the best things about being an Ohio State

Got stress? Go to the SAC!

by Hunter Sandwisch

Beginning college is an exciting and rewarding part of life, but I’ll admit it can be stressful. And if you focus only on studying all the time, you can begin to become so stressed that you don’t do as well as you should on your exams and tests. One of the things that I have found that helps me relieve stress is physical activity. There are many ways to get active on campus, whether it is working out in the weight room, playing pool, or even playing racquetball. However, my favorite way to get active on campus is through getting involved in intramural sports. Ohio State ATI offers three seasons of intramurals that last about 6 weeks each. In the fall we play softball, football, and volleyball; in the winter we have 3-on-3 basketball; and in the spring we do volleyball and 5-on-5 basketball.

This past fall, while I began to take my first midterm, I became very stressed. While all this stress was building up and I was studying every chance I had, I knew I needed a way to relieve some of that stress and have some fun while doing it. That is when some of my friends got together and made a football team. Quickly, I realized that I was enjoying my time out on the field and relieving stress at the same time. During intramurals, they have tournaments that follow the regular season. This year my football team won the championship, and my volleyball team fell just short in the championship game. After the seasons are over for most sports, our school’s winning team plays against the intramural champion from the College of Wooster.

The Student Activities Center holds all these intramural sports and many other activities as well. The Student Activities Center (SAC), is open 7 days a week and the times vary. One of the great things is that it is completely free of charge as long as you bring your BuckID. You are also allowed to bring a guest. The SAC has many events each week hosted by either the Student Activities Council or by Community Council. Some of these events are the homecoming dance, bull bash, game nights, craft nights, and glow-in-the-dark dodgeball. Not only are these activities held at the SAC but there is also free food offered at nearly every event—and what college kid doesn’t love free food!

The SAC also is a great place to do your homework or hang out in between classes if you don’t want to drive home or walk back to your apartment. The SAC is also great for commuters as there are lounges and locker rooms that are available to any BuckID holder free of charge. There are also TVs all around that you can hook any laptop or gaming system up to if you wish to watch a movie or play games while there.

College can be a stressful time in someone’s life. Something to keep in mind is that although studying is an essential part of success in college, you cannot perform to the best of your abilities if you are overly stressed. The best way that I have found to relieve my stress in my first year of college is through intramurals and getting involved in activity nights at the SAC. This is one of the ways to have fun and enjoy your time in college because the college years are the best years of your life, and it is no different here at Ohio State ATI!

10 Things Every Incoming Freshman Should Know About College

by Sophie Hoelscher

When I graduated from high school, I really didn’t have an idea of what to expect before college. I was excited to start, but I didn’t know the ways of Ohio State ATI, I didn’t know if I’d like my roommates, and I didn’t know how classes would be. The transition from high school to college may seem overwhelming because there are so many different things to keep in mind for your next chapter in life.

Sometimes it can be hard to get advice about what college is really like. Here are a few things I think every incoming freshman should keep in mind about college and Ohio State ATI to be as prepared as possible while moving into college:

Apply for every scholarship! 

The OSU ATI scholarship application is due February 1st. Most scholarship applications require simple essays. Although it may take some time and thought, there isn’t anything to lose, only something to (hopefully) gain.

Get to know your Academic Advisor.

Your academic advisor should be your right-hand man or woman. Anywhere from help with classes, life, scheduling, or references, academic advisors are always a helping hand. They can also open network opportunities!

Go to ALL your classes.

I know it’s tempting to skip those pesky 8 a.m. classes, but you’re paying for your education so be sure to make the most of it! Your professor may provide class participation points, attendance points, certain notes, and maybe even bonus points that might be available if you go to class. Your grade might depend on it.

Get involved!

Ohio State ATI has many opportunities to get involved. Through clubs, student activities, and jobs, there’s almost always something going on. So don’t stay in your apartment all day. Get out and make new friends!

Find a good calendar.

Whether it’s a physical calendar or online, put all your classes, exams, due dates, study times, and work times into a portable planner and keep it handy so you can always be aware of what’s going on. You don’t want to miss something important.

Try not to over pack.

A typical freshman apartment is a two-bedroom apartment for five people, so there isn’t much room for your ENTIRE closet from home. But if you really think you need that 5th pair of Twisted Xs at your apartment, find ways to organize your stuff to save space.

Make time for work and play.

College can be stressful, so don’t overwork yourself. Remember to make time for both school and personal life. Did you know that for every hour spent in class, you should spend two hours studying?

Naps are OK but not essential.

Use your extra time more productively. An occasional nap is okay, but don’t take one every chance you can get. Manage your time well and take advantage of your free time to study.

Learn how to cook.

You can’t live off ramen and chicken nuggets forever! Learning to cook can save money, but budget for going out to eat occasionally. There are some great places to eat in Wooster!

Don’t forget where you came from. As you form your new college life, don’t forget things that made you happy, your hometown, your high school, your county, or your home friends and family. They helped you get this far!

Throughout my first year at Ohio State ATI, I’ve learned a lot of things during class and out of class. Making sure I was prepared going into it helped me a lot. I think this is some advice about what college can really be like. Ohio State ATI is a melting pot of Ohio’s ag students. We all come from different walks along agriculture, but we are brought together because of one thing:  our love for agriculture. So go make friends and study hard! It’s up to you to make your freshman year amazing.

Diversity at Ohio State ATI

by Mickie Martin and Tonya Messam

The Ohio State ATI campus community is always changing, and one way it has changed positively is the increasingly diverse student body. In addition, ATI is cultivating a safe environment for people from all walks of life. There are many events focusing on diversity and new experiences on campus, and the RAs often plan fun events, like the one we had last semester focusing on Jamaican and Puerto Rican food and culture. There are also lots of events at the nearby College of Wooster and in the surrounding area.

Students can participate in clubs and organizations that help build programming to educate and celebrate diversity. Those include Cultivating Change and MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences). MANRRS helps connect students in agriculture who are underrepresented in the categories of race, ethnicity, religion, and sexuality. MANRRS creates opportunities for students to network and build essential skills for the workplace.

MANRRS is participating this year in an education abroad program entitled “Panama: Through the Lens of AgriCulture, Sustainability, and Diversity.” We’re very excited to see a different perspective of agriculture, learn a new culture, and experience economic differences firsthand. This study abroad program is where agriculture meets culture!

Here’s what MANRRS members have to say about their experiences:

Tonya:

  • I absolutely love being a MANRRS member. We have an amazing bond that makes me even more drawn to the group. No matter where we go, we are always having a fun time. On our trip to Illinois, we had a chance to network with professionals in our field while finding ways to be better professionals ourselves. They even had people critique our resumes to make them more attractive to future employers. This club celebrates diversity and is very inclusive, which makes it a very fun and positive club that I am proud to say I am a member of.

Mickie

  • I really enjoyed getting to meet the partners there! Getting the chance and opportunity to meet people I might internship with or potentially get hired by was exciting. However, it was nerve racking at the same time!

Lee

  • This organization has allowed me to meet new people, make new laughter-filled memories, develop networking skills, travel, and have valuable discussions pertinent to our lives. I’m so glad I joined MANRRS.

 

 

 

Transitioning to Columbus

Submitted by Samantha Augustine

I am a freshman here at ATI studying Agricultural Communication. I, like many of you, was lucky enough to take College Credit Plus courses while I was in high school. So now, as I finish up my first year here at ATI, I have completed enough degree requirements to be ready to transition to the Columbus campus to earn my bachelor’s degree. As many of you know, ATI only offers associate degree programs, so when you finish your degree, you either enter the workforce or continue your education. If you choose to continue your education it can become very confusing and scary (kind of like that dream where you go to class in your underwear and you have no idea why you did, but everyone is staring at you and you don’t know what to do). Transitioning to Columbus can feel a lot like that, but with my help and the help of ATI we can make this feeling go away.

The very first thing you need to do is meet with your academic advisor at ATI. There they can go over your course schedule and degree pathway to make sure you’re ready to make the transition. You can access your degree pathway online under the Current Students, Academics tab, to see exactly what classes you need to graduate from ATI. This way, along with your advisor, you can double check to make sure you have completed all of the requirements for your major. From there you will meet with ATI transition counselor, Cate Hunko. Cate will go over all the required paperwork and steps to make the transition to Columbus official. As a transitioning student, you are required to meet with Cate to officially enroll at the Columbus campus. Cate works closely with the Columbus campus academic advisors to make the transition as smooth as possible. Cate’s job is to help you make the transition as easy as possible, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Once you have had your meeting with Cate and have signed all the necessary paperwork, the hard part is over.

ATI doesn’t throw their students to the wolves. Instead, they offer many programs to help make the transition less stressful and more enjoyable. In the spring semester, they have a transition day, when students visit the Columbus campus, meet with future advisors, talk to current OSU students who also transitioned from ATI to Columbus, and tour the ag campus. This is another amazing opportunity to ask questions like Is it as scary as people make it seem? Where is the best place to eat? How far is too far to live off campus? What is the number one thing I need to bring with me? There is no such thing as a dumb question so be sure to ask while you can. Note to self: on OSU buses you do not have to signal the bus driver if you need to get off at the next stop because they stop at every stop. Your future self will thank me later, so you’re welcome in advance.

Although it may seem quite scary and overwhelming to go from ATI to Columbus, it’s really not. Just remember ATI wants to help in any way they can, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help as you start the transition journey. It’s not nearly as scary as going to class in your underwear (because we have all had that dream)!

A First Generation Student at ATI

Submitted by Olivia Orf

Heading off to college is a very big deal for every freshman, waiting to jump into the next chapter of their lives. Being a first-generation student is the same thing, plus a lot more stress. Going off to college is a time of a lot of firsts for students, but also a lot for parents if they have never been to college themselves. As the daughter of two parents without college degrees, I had so much to learn about school that many of my peers already knew. My parents couldn’t warn me about the stress or the idea of having roommates. Nor could they advise me on how to properly use the resources the university provides its students.

My parents and me

Ohio State ATI understands first-generation students like no other university. Between the small class sizes, peer tutoring and support, and the student-to-faculty ratio, Ohio State ATI is a great place to get your education started. Student Success Services at ATI is exactly what the name says: a place with resources to help you succeed—and it really does just that. I have personally utilized many forms of peer tutoring, counseling, mentoring, and advising in my first semester at ATI.

This university understands what it is like to not have the same resources that other students might have. This is a large part of why they support and encourage first-generation students. This past autumn, Ohio State ATI held an event for first-generation students. This event gave us the chance to hear from other first-generation students, learn about our work ethic, and hear more about the resources offered here.

The library and many of the staff here at ATI are also extremely supportive of first-generation students and their journeys. The resources they provide include but are not limited to access to all textbooks while you’re in the library, supplies to help with projects and study habits, tips and tricks to study well, and multiple rooms to find your comfort when you’re studying in the library.

All of the people in this photo were recognized in November for being first-generation college students!

We also have many staff members that are first-generations students, including housing coordinator, Mick Steiner; assistant to the director, Michelle Villers; and professor and PhD candidate, Eric Williams. The faculty and staff here at ATI create the atmosphere, they understand the processes that first-generation students have to go through, and they are more than willing to help you personally find your niche in college.

Coming to college as a first-generation student isn’t easy, the path is not always clear, and sometimes the decisions are hard simply because you’re surrounded by people who don’t understand your situation. However, the journey is just as important as the destination. You would not earn the privileges of having a degree if you don’t go through the process. Here at Ohio State ATI, they make that process and that journey just a little bit easier.

Student Experiences and Opportunities

 by Paige Schaffter

When I first stepped into my freshman apartment on Holly Court at Ohio State ATI, I didn’t feel like I was old enough to be in college, let alone actually be starting my college career in two very short days. Fortunately, everything exceeded my expectations and hopes by miles.

Although ATI isn’t as big as the Columbus campus, you’re still getting the entire college experience by being here. There are clubs, campus life, and opportunities to grow as an individual—academically, professionally, and socially. As an ATI student, I have been involved in Community Council, Homecoming Court, Collegiate FFA, Student Activities Council, and the Admissions Ambassador team—just to name a few!

Aside from all the clubs that are available to students on campus, there’s also a ton of activities. If sports are your go-to stress reliever, there are intramural sports for every season. Volleyball, basketball, soccer, dodgeball, and softball are just a few of the teams that have games throughout the year. The Student Activities Center also has a pool table, ping pong, darts, racquetball, badminton, painting, string art, along with other crafts and activities for students across campus.

If sports aren’t your forte, Residence Life is right up your alley. Residence Life tailors specifically to students who live on campus and their well-being and entertainment. Community Council organizes numerous events throughout the year that students can enjoy, ranging from a field trip to a trampoline park, complete with a Raising Cane’s dinner, to ATI’s annual Homecoming and Bull Bash dances. Additionally, the Resident Advisors on campus host a variety of educational and fun programs for students during the week and on the weekends.

During the week, educational programs with professors include stress management, horticulture education, cultural diversity across the state of Ohio and Midwest United States, and many more. On the weekends, you can find students eating snacks and watching the Buckeyes football game on the projector in the Community Room, playing Farming Simulator, or painting pumpkins and ornaments for holidays. Also, no RA program or campus event is complete without food, so if you’re hungry (for knowledge and food), there’s always a program you can attend to ease that hunger.

One of my favorite things about being a student at Ohio State ATI is being a Buckeye! As Buckeyes, ATI students are able to purchase tickets to football, basketball, and other sporting events for extremely discounted prices, and get to sit in the student section with other students. Even though you’ll have to travel to Columbus for game day, the experience is unlike any other. As a student ticketholder, I watched Ohio State beat Penn State 39-38 in 2017, crush That Team Up North 62-39 in 2018, and I sat in section AA, ten feet from the football field for the 2018 Homecoming game against Indiana! All of these incredible game day experiences happened sitting next to some of my best friends, surrounded by crazy Ohio State fans and students like me, creating memories of a lifetime. Buckeye born, Buckeye raised, a Buckeye fan for all the days.

So as you’re selecting your university and campus, don’t dismiss Ohio State ATI, and certainly don’t sell yourself short on memories, friends, and opportunities to have the time of your life. A friend of mine once said that college was the best four years of their life, and I have to agree with them. Nothing beats living on a campus with students who are just as involved, passionate, and crazy about agriculture and the Buckeyes as you are.

 

Here are a few of the campus activities I have participated in:

  • Homecoming Court
    • Family Day
    • Announcement at the Homecoming Dance
    • Coronation at the OSU Columbus campus, complete with parade in Columbus and meeting President Drake
    • OSU Tailgate and introduced at the Skull Session and on the field prior to the game
    • AA Deck seats at the game
  • Community Council
    • Plan Homecoming week’s Bull Bash
    • Helping plan SpringFest
    • Year-round activities
    • Up All Night overnight event for admitted students
  • CFFA
    • Farmer-to-Farmer Fund
    • Ornament making and selling
    • Professional development
  • TOSSS
    • People to People
    • Community service
  • Student Activities Council
    • Event planning
    • Leadership development
  • SpringFest
    • Spring semester activities prior to finals

 

 

Mowing My Way to Success

Submitted by Mark Christopherson

Whether it is a riding mower, a stand mower or just a small push mower, I have always enjoyed mowing and operating lawn equipment. In the beginning of my senior in high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had to make the choice of either going to college or going straight into the workforce. I made the choice of going to college and becoming the first in my family to go to college. I didn’t have to look too hard to find the college that was right for me. My landscape horticulture teacher at Auburn Career Center is an alumnus of ATI and had nothing but good things to say about the school and the people that work here. So I went to the open house in November and from then on I was hooked. Once I found the major I was interested in, my senior year flew by and I was excited to continue my education at Ohio State ATI as a turfgrass management major with a turfgrass equipment manager certificate.

People always told me that college would be scary, and they weren’t wrong. With the new places and the new faces, it was a little scary, but once I got settled in and started meeting people it became less scary. College is a lot different than high school. The environment is completely different. In high school you must be in every class every day, but in college you don’t have the same class every day. College is about learning and preparing you for your future career. One thing to do while in college is to get out and network with industry. Networking is so important in whatever job field you choose. The best part about Ohio State ATI is that they specialize in hands-on learning. Students here experience the work they will do in their field and apply what they learn in the classroom. Another unique part about ATI is they require you have a paid internship as a graduation requirement. Your advisor and professors will help you find an internship in your field of study.

I completed my turfgrass management internship with the Lake County Captains between my freshman and sophomore years, and I will complete my turfgrass equipment manager certificate internship this summer at Quail Hollow Resort. The opportunity to have an internship is so amazing, because you get to gain knowledge from industry professionals while getting paid. I was an assistant grounds manager with the Lake County Captains in Eastlake, Ohio. As an assistant I oversaw day-to-day operations, like  mowing, fixing the game mound and bull pen mounds, and repairing wear and tear in the field. I also earned a lot about mixing and spraying of fertilizers and pesticides. Working on a baseball field, we were required to be there for the games. I usually worked 8 am to 1 1pm, 7 days a week. Baseball takes a lot of work and preparation. Most people don’t understand how much happens behind the scenes. During my next internship at Quail Hollow Golf Club, I am focusing more on the equipment and less on the turf. I am working as a golf course mechanic. I will be working on the mowers, sharping blades and bed knifes, and keeping the mowers operating, so we can keep the course looking good. I am excited to see where this internship leads me.

The Ohio State University ATI sets you up for your future. There are endless opportunities for internships and jobs that students are prepared to apply for after graduation. I am walking out of college with a diploma, a certificate and a full-time job! If you work hard, show that you want to learn, and be there, you will have no problem getting an internship and have it turn into a full-time job.

 

AFA = Awesome, Fun, Amazing

Submitted by Courtney Heiser

In early November, a group of CFAES students, representing both Ohio State University’s Wooster and Columbus campuses, traveled to Kansas City, MO to participate in a very unique opportunity known as the Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Leaders Conference. This program is intended to offer college students different personal and professional development opportunities specific to their year in college. Students had the privilege to network and learn about opportunities in the agriculture industry with both peers and industry professionals from across the United States. As a college freshman, I was fortunate to have been able to participate in this unique program that allowed me to break out of my comfort zone and appreciate different viewpoints and ideas from peers across the country.

For four consecutive days, the program kept us on our toes with many different professional- development, leadership, and team-building sessions that allowed us to engage with others and express our ideas in a welcoming environment. The theme of the conference was “Fuse: Better Together.” To me, AFA’s theme translates to this: leaders within the agriculture and food industry must be willing to listen to others’ viewpoints and be open to transforming their mindsets by listening to others’ ideas, realizing their talents, as well as respect their backgrounds and experiences to strengthen our agriculture and food industry. The next generation of agriculturalists will create a strong bond that will fuse the industry and make it so much better together.

Every moment I spent at this conference was productive and an opportunity to connect with new people, hear different viewpoints, and express my ideas as well. As a 1st year student participating in the Track 1 program of the Leaders Conference, I was able to become more self-aware of my personal talents, skills, values, and motivations.

In Track 1, I was able to explore and enhance my personal strengths and skills that I bring to the professional playing field. Every session I participated in was very beneficial and increased my self-awareness. Specifically, participating in the Balancing Personal Priorities Session, hosted by a former OSU student, Emily Peters, helped me to realize the things holding me back from progressing from good to great.

One of the most unique experiences offered at the Leaders Conference was the Opportunity Fair. Personally, this was my favorite part of the entire conference. There were nearly 100 agricultural businesses, organizations, and associations that were in search of qualifies students to fill internships and many offered other employment opportunities. The opportunity fair allowed me to speak to future employers, allowing me to get my foot in the door for future employment opportunities.

All in all, it was an honor to represent Ohio State ATI at the AFA Leaders Conference. I enjoyed every moment I spent networking with peers and professionals. There are many opportunities to stay involved with AFA including major-specific institutes, AFA fellowship program, the campus ambassador program, and even the student advisory team. I hope to return to the AFA Leaders Conference next fall and participate in the Track 2 Program and eventually apply to be a campus ambassador to continue to promote these outstanding opportunities!