On Monday, October 7 in Bessey Hall, students had the opportunity to network with industry professionals from several companies at the I'm An Agronomist Career Mixer. Bayer Crop Science, Corteva Agrisciences, J.R. Simplot Company, MaxYield Cooperative, and WinField United attended the mixer.
Junior in agronomy Marjorie Hanneman spent her summer working for Bayer Crop Science in Ankeny, Iowa at the high throughput genotyping facility as the Molecular Breeding Intern.
On a daily basis, Marjorie utilized lab robots to conduct real time PCR on a variety of crops and genetic traits. The project she worked on focused on testing and validating new master mix for quality and efficiency across crops, markers, and traits. She also used automated machinery to complete her daily activities as well as data collection and analysis.
"My favorite part of my internship was being able to complete lab work at such a large scale. I was able to work with about 15 different crops and learn how to manage huge data sets and design experiments. I also enjoyed working with state of the art machinery and robots and being at the forefront of biotechnology," Marjorie said.
Senior in agronomy Costas Hatzipavlides was a US Row Crop Sales Intern for Bayer last summer.
On a typical day, Costas visited saleman and customers and addressed their needs. Each day posed a new adventure, such as putting in plots, going on sales calls, and evaluating and selling hybrids, varieties, and chemicals to customers. Costas enjoyed bringing solutions to customers the most as well as working on a fun team.
"Agronomy set me up with technical skills that made me stand our versus competitive companies. Iowa State University agronomy simply sets you up with a better skillset," Costas said.
Costas explained that internships help you to network and find out what company you want to work for after college. He recommends doing as many internships as you can because they help you apply what you learn in class as well as learn new things that you may never learn in a classroom.
In 2013, Monsanto partnered with the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University to create the Monsanto Chair in Soybean Breeding. The position has provided the soybean breeding program with tremendous opportunities and offered substantial results.
Since its inception, the named faculty position has been held by Dr. Asheesh Singh, who earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and animal husbandry from G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in India, a master’s degree in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Saskatchewan and a doctorate in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Guelph.