A love of horses helped Nikki Novak from Elmwood, Nebraska, choose an agribusiness major at the College of Business Administration. The major allows her to pursue a career in the industry which comprises 25 percent of jobs in Nebraska.
“I’ve been riding horses since I was four-years-old and showing them since I was five. Horses have always been a part of my life,” she said.
Novak joined the UNL Equestrian Team her freshman year and learned about the Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI) from her teammates. The KEMI program coordinates with businesses and farms to provide students with a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity.
Novak was selected with 30 others from the U.S., Australia and Canada for the program. As an intern, she worked at Stonestreet Farm and engaged in hands-on learning experiences to better understand Kentucky’s thoroughbred racehorse industry. She learned everything from managing horses to real-world business marketing practices.
She also participated in the marketing aspects and learned ways to market online, use social media, maintain the website and network to promote business relationships.
“This internship was very helpful, because I was able to learn about different jobs in the agribusiness industry. I also met great people I will stay connected with in the future,” she said.
The interns also attended the University of Kentucky Equine Showcase and Breeders Short Course Lectures, along with monthly meetings at the Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club and an agribusiness career fair. These events provided Novak with the opportunity to practice her networking skills.
Novak will graduate in May 2015. She plans to stay connected with the Kentucky racehorse industry, and keep horses in her life and her career.