By Stephanie Doorack
Katie Goodman, a William Woods University junior from Kingwood, Texas, has taken a hands-on approach to her education by completing a five-month internship with the Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI) program.
From July to December of 2007, Goodman was in Lexington, Ky., increasing her knowledge of the equine industry.
KEMI is an internship program designed to give highly motivated individuals real experience in the equine industry. One of 13 candidates, Goodman was selected for the program based on her previous horse experience, her education in William Woods University’s equestrian program and other factors, such as her GPA.
Through the internship, students integrate academic studies with practical experience, leadership and responsibility as a contributing participant on a Central Kentucky horse farm. Aside from farm commitments, students are introduced into a network of equine professionals representing multifaceted careers in the equine profession.
Participating in the fall program, which focuses on sales and breaking and training yearlings, Goodman worked on area Thoroughbred farms. Along with fellow interns, she spent her days learning through on-farm experience, attending area horse association meetings, meeting professionals in the industry and attending equine events.
Also, interns attended weekly classes addressing important issues facing the industry and learning about the scientific aspects of managing a barn.
“The internship taught me a lot about myself, as cliché as that sounds. I am, by nature, a very reserved individual and quite shy when meeting new people. I believe the KEMI program helped me become more personable with others and it also showed me that I’m a lot stronger than I thought,” said Goodman.
She said, “I personally worked six days a week, eight hours a day, and the job called for you to be on your feet the whole time. I never thought I could do that for six months straight but I proved to myself that I could.”
The internship is designed to increase the opportunities for college students, helping them obtain their goals through a strong program of work ethic, skills and connections.
“As interns we also were able to tour a lot of the major farms in the Lexington area and were able to talk with a lot of the major players in the industry,” commented Goodman. “There are so many job opportunities out there and now I feel like I have connections that are great.”
Goodman is a WWU equine administration major with a business minor. Drawn to the university because of its nationally recognized equestrian studies program, she plans to become a veterinary technician in an equine hospital.
She credits Laura Ward, associate professor of equestrian studies at WWU, with helping her obtain the internship.
“She was very enthusiastic about the idea and quickly wrote me a recommendation. The school also saw that the internship would be a great opportunity for me and helped me in any way they could,” said Goodman.