Huntington University is a Christian liberal arts college in Indiana

Nothing prepares you like a Deere

Student gains real-world experiences with help of Enterprise Resource Center
Valerie Van Ee

“(The ERC) helped the process. I wouldn’t have known how to do this by myself.”

Even as a freshman, Valerie Van Ee knew the importance of internships during her college career.

She had set her sights on interning for John Deere, the place where her father worked, but she had to wait until she was a sophomore to be eligible to apply.

Patience and a helping hand from the Enterprise Resource Center (ERC) staff landed Van Ee the internship the summer before her junior year.

“As a freshman, I decided it was never too early to get into the game,” she said.

As a junior computer science and animation double major, Van Ee spent the summer working on application development in the IT department at John Deere’s headquarters in Moline, Ill., just across the border from her hometown of Eldridge, Iowa. She was a part of a team that helped develop a program called “CropSense” which helps measure the moisture in the ground at various depths.

“It was rough getting started, (but) at John Deere, you work in teams so you learn to depend on other people,” she said.

Van Ee came to Huntington University because of her interest in studying animation. Someday, she hopes to work for Disney or Pixar.

“I always loved art,” she said. “The more I did it the more I loved it.”

And when it came to finding the right “real-life” experiences for her future, she was glad for the help of the ERC, also at HU.

The ERC acts as a “connector” between the university and area businesses, not-for-profit organizations, social service agencies, churches and local governments. The ERC staff works with these organizations to develop meaningful “real-world” experiences for HU students with a wide range of majors and interests. In turn, the students’ hard work helps these organizations to grow and prosper.

“They definitely helped me figure it out,” Van Ee said about her experience. “They helped the process. I wouldn’t have known how to do this by myself.”