Food Industry Management (FIM) junior Sarah Lokey is heading to SpartanNash as a National Accounts Intern after finding and seizing leadership experiences within the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics and at national levels.
“While I was visiting MSU, Larry Zink invited me to join a Food Marketing Association (FMA) trip to Grand Rapids with current students, and that’s when I knew I had found the industry, and the school, I wanted to be in,” Lokey said.
Now, not only is Lokey a top FIM student, she’s also on the board of two student organizations, has attended multiple national conferences and institutes and has secured an internship at SpartanNash, one of the places she visited with that initial trip to Grand Rapids.
“I’m so happy to be working with SpartanNash and look forward to expanding my horizons with them,” Lokey said. “It should be a great way to build off what I’ve learned in class and from my conference experiences.”
Since joining the department in Fall 2017, Lokey has attended three Agriculture Future of America (AFA) conferences, including its Leadership Conference in Kansas City, the Food Institute in Chicago and the Technology Institute in Anaheim.
“At each conference I have attended, I have gained so much knowledge about the food and agriculture field,” Lokey said. “MSU and AFA make sure that you get to make amazing connections with industry professionals and other students. I’m thankful for these opportunities to sharpen my skills and expand my network.”
Lokey was chosen to attend these conferences in part because of her leadership experience on campus. She serves as the Publications Executive Board Member for the MSU chapter of the National Agriculture Marketing Association (NAMA), as well as the Communications Executive Board Member for the Food Marketing Association (FMA), and says it’s her desire to expand these groups and their visibility that drives her to take on these leadership roles.
“I’m someone who likes to help others, and by becoming a leader for groups I’m already passionate about, I’ve been able to see my decisions impact other students in positive ways," Lokey said. “I love to see students enjoying a meeting or an event that I worked to set up and plan.”
Lokey will continue to add to her accomplishments this summer by participating in the Marketing in China study abroad, and will see how business is done on the other side of the world by touring four cities and visiting nine companies while there.
“I couldn’t do any of the amazing things I’ve done so far without the support of my department and college,” Lokey said. “At a big school, it can often feel like you are a little fish in a big sea or just a number. But when you’re in the AFRE department you don’t have that feeling. The faculty and staff truly care about you, not only as a student but as a person, and set you up for immense success after graduation.”
“I’m so happy to have landed in this major at this school. People will always need to eat and there will always be a demand for students in Food Industry Management. My passion for the food industry, the knowledge I have gained from classes and conferences, and the wonderful experiences I have had with clubs and fellow students have me thrilled to begin my career.”