I was a deer in the headlights coming to D.C. with very little knowledge of the city or what I would be doing in my hosting office. I figured my internship would consist of getting coffee, making copies and taking notes on anything and everything. When my hosting office informed me that I would get to go with them to their annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee, I knew that I was getting the opportunity of a lifetime.
Packin’ it up: My first month with the National Turkey Federation was spent getting things ready to host over 500 people at a 4-day long convention. Everything from the food members would eat to getting a hold of guest speakers like Secretary Sonny Perdue rested on the small but mighty staff of nine at the National Turkey Federation. My day to day tasks included making the nametags, contacting restaurants, and working with my supervisors to make sure everything was shipped in a timely manner to meet us in Nashville!
Hot Turkey and Honky Tonk Highway: When I got to Nashville, it was nothing but go, go, go for 6 days straight. We were responsible for setting up the convention space to make it “team turkey friendly.” My favorite part of the entire convention was meeting the members. From producers, to processors, to allied members, I was meeting people that I had heard about even in my studies at Texas A&M. I had the opportunity to build relationships with major players in the turkey industry. On top of the workday side of convention, I was able to spend informal time with staff and members, my favorite being enjoying the famous Nashville Hot “turkey” on Broadway Street!
Networkin’ and Boot Scootin’: I knew before even arriving to Nashville that I would be given an irreplaceable opportunity to build my network with potential future employers. I always kept my business card on me and took every opportunity to get to meet new people, even when it meant boot scootin’ through receptions and stepping out of my comfort zone.
My time in D.C. has been a once in a lifetime opportunity but experiencing Nashville in a business setting was the experience that I never thought I would get. The conversations and advice I got from our members are irreplaceable and I have a completely different outlook on the turkey industry now that I’ve met the wonderful people who make it happen.
National Turkey Federation
Washington, D.C. | spring 2020