Student internship spotlight: Cynthia Lopez
Fresno State animal science senior Cynthia Lopez positioned herself for a great internship experience at Cobb-Vantress this summer thanks to her role as a student manager at our Foster Farms Poultry Education & Research Facility.
The Fresno native successfully manages the 20,000-chick flock on campus - a passion that started when she helped raised chickens and cows on her family farm while she was growing up.
On campus, she also serves as research student assistant & the president of the poultry science club that gives students key exposure to professionals, conferences & industry visits.
Read more about her internship experience & accomplished resume in this recent interview.
Q: Give us a little more background on your internship.
Lopez: "I interned with the Cobb-Vantress research and development department in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Due to COVID-19, the internship was a bit different but still a great experience. I worked from the apartments they provided us near the headquarters, and attended Zoom meetings to work with team members. I also got to tour one of their GP (grandparent) farms - it's one of the sections on the production pyramid for chickens. I also helped out two days at their Fayetteville hatchery."
Q: What skills did you gain from the internship that they can apply to your potential career options?
Lopez: "I worked with quantitative genetics and a statistic program. I learned a wide variety of data-related computer skills since it was my first time working with that type of program. The department I worked with was amazing. They were very welcoming and treated me like family."
Q: What ag-related clubs are you involved with on campus?
Lopez: "This will be my third year being president of the poultry club. I am also a member of the dairy and pre-veterinary clubs."
Q: Do you directly work with any faculty on campus with research projects?
Lopez: "Yes, I am involved with research at the campus poultry unit and gather data on birds interacting with enrichments."
Q: Describe any campus farm responsibilities you have?
Lopez: "As a student manager at the poultry facility on campus I am responsible for communicating with the Foster Farms (off-site) supervisor and the point of contact for student employees to ensure the well-being of the birds in the facility."
Q: After graduation, what's your potential next career step?
Lopez: "I’m looking into possibly attending graduate school."
Q: Why have you been attracted to working with the poultry industry as a career?
Lopez: "I started at the poultry unit and got involved with the club as a freshman. With that I've had so many opportunities to meet amazing people and learn so much about the industry. All of my opportunities are due to connections the poultry industry, and I am grateful for that, and I really enjoy what I do."
Q: Have any of the faculty, staff or students been important resources in your academic and career paths?
Lopez: "My brother, Rodrigo, and Dr. Katy Tarrant, and my friends. They have been there every step of the way, motivating and being there for me when needed. Because of them I believe a little more in myself and what I'm capable of doing."