How Competitive Horseback Riding Prepared this College Junior For Project Management

Alyssa Greenfield
How Competitive Horseback Riding Prepared this College Junior For Project Management
Sponsored by, Scotts Miracle-Gro

Kelly Rambow doesn’t graduate from Ohio University for another two years, but this summer, she project managed a team of 16 other interns at Scotts Miracle-Gro. What helped this IT intern successfully lead a team of her peers?

Competitive horse showing. In part, at least.

When she was seven years old, Kelly took the top spot in a world championship horse show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Prizes like a new saddle weren’t the only thing she gained from that competition. “Because of horse showing, I got used to going after a challenge,” she says. “I learned how to push myself to get better and more confident at anything I take on.”

That ability to push herself to improve came in handy when she was given the opportunity to lead her fellow IT department interns. With her guidance, the team worked together to build new web applications from the ground-up and added additional features to existing applications.

It wasn’t a role she expected to have, but before the second intern project of the summer, Kelly’s manager came up to her and asked if she wanted to be a project manager. She was hesitant at first—leading a team of your peers isn’t easy, let alone 16 of them. But she was used to taking on challenges.

As a project manager, Kelly served as a liaison between Scotts Miracle-Gro business groups and developers. She was responsible for keeping track of what her team was working on, and making sure she wasn’t saying yes to any unrealistic feature requests.

One area Kelly knew she had to grow her confidence in was public speaking. When she started her internship, she had to present on the current state of her team’s project to directors and managers. “It was one of the most nerve-wracking things,” she says. “The night before, I had dreams about standing in the presentation room, reciting my lines.” But just like horse showing, she kept at it and got better and better with each presentation.  

Another thing she had to adjust to this summer wasn’t work-related at all. Kelly’s family lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, but the Scotts Miracle-Gro HQ is in Columbus—about a two-hour drive away. She decided to live in Columbus for the summer to push herself out of her comfort zone.

“I wanted to live in a new city where I’d get a taste of finding an apartment, buying my own groceries, and making new friends,” she says. “The first night in my apartment, I bought groceries and tried to make chicken for dinner, then realized I didn’t know how to cook and called my mom for advice.” Thankfully, dinner worked out in the end, and she learned a new skill in the process.

For Kelly, it’s been a summer full of learning and growing, both inside and outside of the Scotts Miracle-Gro office. “This experience affirmed that I’m in the right field and chose the right major,” she says. As for what’s next, Kelly is eager to explore other areas of IT (like analytics) during future internships.


Find your dream job or internship.