05 Jun Master’s in Agribusiness & Seed Sales
Have you every wondered if it would benefit you to pursue a master’s degree in an agricultural field? Check out how it helped propel the career of a brand manager for a major seed company.
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Having an education in the agriculture industry proves to be a great benefit. The age old question, however, is — how much education do I get to be able to work my dream agriculture job? Many individuals struggle with the decision to pursue a master’s degree for a variety of reasons, including lack of real-world experience, cost or hesitation toward the benefits of another degree.
Take a look at how a master’s degree in agribusiness helped Andy Montgomery, a seed sales brand manager for AgReliant Genetics, propel his career to the next level.
Leading as a brand manager
As a brand manager for AgReliant Genetics, Andy is responsible for the strategy of the brand, the sales efforts of the brand, the marketing efforts, the product portfolio and more.
“A lot of people would probably refer to it as a general manager position,” Andy said. “(We’re focused on) really pulling it together with a vision and a strategy for the future. All aspects of running a seed brand, I’ve got my hands in it at some point in time.”
In May, Andy will celebrate his 20-year anniversary with AgReliant, the only company he has ever worked for since graduating with his undergraduate degree. He contributes much of his success of staying and moving up the latter with AgReliant to building his portfolio of experiences.
“I think it’s all about experiences,” he said. “I know we’re always trying to go through our careers and build our resumes, but ultimately you’re just trying to build experiences and combine those experiences to a point that you can manage something.”
Becoming a master
Andy decided to pursue his Master’s (https://aggrad.com/agriculture-careers-require-advanced-degree/) in Agribusiness Management from Kansas State University in an effort to expand his connections and dive deeper into the world of agriculture business.
“It was an opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone, get outside the connections I had been around for years and meet new people,” Andy said. “Up until that time, I was used to agriculture in the ‘I’ states. If it didn’t happen in Illinois, Indiana or Iowa, in a lot of cases, I just wasn’t really that familiar with it.”
Throughout the three years it took Andy to complete the program, he was exposed to an array of sectors within the agriculture industry through his peers that he would not have normally been around. His interest in agriculture grew as he learned about the agriculture machinery business, strategy, brand management and how his competitors across the company operated.
With the extra knowledge Andy learned in school, he was able to propel his career to become brand manager within AgReliant Genetics.
“Up until I went to Kansas State, I had spent my entire career as a DSM or as a mid-level manager, a regional sales manager, a division manager,” Andy said. “I had been managing the sales process and really not a whole lot beyond that.”
Andy believes he was able to succeed in obtaining his master’s degree because he had real world experience to apply to his course curriculum.
“Go out and get some experiences,” he said. “I think it would be difficult for somebody right out of college to have those experiences and to have gone through some challenges in their career. They would have to make up things. For me personally, I didn’t have to make up anything.”
Learning to manage
As Andy has progressed in his career, he has learned how to effectively manage people. Here are a few tips he has on becoming a good manager.
- Be able to sit and listen without reacting — It a person can keep themselves from reacting to a problem, it is amazing how a situation can calm down and fix itself in a matter of hours.
- Have patience — Be able to discuss problems and solutions with individuals without getting frustrated or angry.
- Surround yourself with good people — As a manger, people will throw problems and projects at you all of the time. Surround yourself with out leaders that can find their own solutions to make it easier on you.
- Communicate, communicate and communicate — As a leader you can never communicate too much. When you get to the point that you are tired of saying something, the light bulb will finally go off for an employee.
To reach out to Andy, send him an email at email@example.com.
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