By Morgan Babineaux
Internships are an important part of the college experience is what Harley Jackson, a second semester junior at McNeese, learned after participating in an internship at a deer breeding facility in Texas last summer.
Majoring in natural resource conservation management, Harley was always aware she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture, and getting involved in FFA throughout high school is what led her to her true passion – wildlife and natural resources.
“At the deer breeding facility, I was the fawn care intern,” she says. “My primary jobs were taking care of fawns, bottle-feeding and giving medication. We had 60 to 70 babies inside the barn at any given time and more out in the fields. The further along in the summer, I got to start helping with the big breeder deer, and that was probably one of the most exciting parts.”
This year, Harley has since applied for several internships around the U.S. and was offered a position in Wyoming at a deer ranch, home to plenty of bison and elk. Since she was already worked alongside deer, Jackson stated she may pursue a biology or game warden internship in the Texas area. Working as a biologist or game warden after graduation appeals to her the most, but the variety of internships available, for her, “have opened so many possibilities and so many different prospective careers.”
Apart from internships, Harley says that she and her peers in the College of Agricultural Sciences are working hard to reestablish McNeese’s Wildlife Club.
Harley says that the teaching staff has been a huge help in enhancing her time at McNeese.
“Without Dr. Lyons and Dr. LeMieux, I think it would be impossible for anyone in the degree program to make it through,” she says. “Dr. Lyons is probably the best professor I’ve ever had. His classes are definitely not easy, but I’ve learned more there than I have from any of my other classes combined.”
Scheduled to graduate in May 2023, Harley says that she’s looking forward to, “networking with as many people as possible, and understanding every aspect of not only this degree, but the field as a whole.”