04 Feb Working at BASF: Capitalizing on Experiences to Launch a Career Path
It may seem like a small thing, but investing in relationships in any opportunity can prove beneficial in the building of your career trajectory and professional goals. First connected with AgGrad in 2016 by taking over the Snapchat for National Ag Day in Washington DC, Elizabeth Galbreath has been able to capitalize on seemingly normal encounters to improve her skill set and career path. A part of the Agriculture Sales and Marketing Professional Development program at BASF, it’s been a wild ride for Elizabeth but she wouldn’t change a thing.
What is the BASF Program Like?
Moving from a collegiate learning environment to learning in corporate America, is an experience that Elizabeth describes as both a “wild ride” and enjoyable.
“I am 23 years-old and I still don’t know what I am going to do, … [bus BASF] gives me a taste of business and marketing,” says Elizabeth. “I really get the full picture.”
One of the many advantages to working with BASF is the developmental opportunities they provide whether it be conferences or research. It is the perfect place for someone who is trying to figure out what they want to be doing. BASF also teaches you everything that they ask you to do and are extremely supportive.
Mastering the Elevator Pitch
It’s important to always have an “Elevator Pitch” at the ready as you never know when you’ll only have a couple of minutes to say, “this is who I am” and “this is why you would want to hire me.” Not insincere when done correctly, this is exactly the technique that Elizabeth used when the opportunity presented itself when…. She was in an elevator!
“I’m the first person I’ve ever heard of using an elevator pitch in an elevator,” she laughs as she explains how she got the opportunity at BASF.
Recognizing the individual on the elevator with her as a Vice President at BASF, a corporation she had not only wanted to work at, but also a corporation that she had applied for when she was an intern at the Agriculture Futures of America (AFA) annual leadership conference. Introducing herself and giving her quick spiel, it was only a few days later when it was arranged for her to fly out for an interview.
What is your favorite part of working at BASF?
“It comes down to the people that I work with here,” Elizabeth explains. Welcoming and open individuals, willing to sacrifice their own time to answer her in-depth questions with absolute patience, is one of the reasons that Elizabeth loves working at BASF. A supporting reason to the joy her co-workers bring, helping ease stressful situations with a funny story or a joke to lighten the mood, is BASF’s partnership with a variety of different organizations and causes that are important to Elizabeth.
What is the most challenging part of working at BASF?
The biggest thing that Elizabeth can encourage people to pursue is to have trust in the process. You may want to accelerate where you are at and where you are going, but you need to be able to accept all that comes your way. Elizabeth says that this alone has taught her more than most other parts of her job.
Involvement with AFA
Studying the leadership and community development side of agriculture at Virginia Tech, Elizabeth found herself investing in the 4-H extension side through both her major and department. This led to her involvement in AFA, which gave her an understanding and comprehension on how big the agriculture industry really is and what her role in it could look like.
An organization dedicated to building bridges for young leaders in agriculture and food, AFA holds one premier event in Kansas City every year called the AFA Leaders Conference. With 800 and growing college students attending, all pursuing agriculture and food careers, they also provide institutes throughout the year for a variety of different sectors.
A huge part of her college career, attending events allowed her to combine development with industry networking.
“I feel like a walking billboard for Agriculture Futures of America, I love it so much and it was, and is, SO important to me!” ~ Elizabeth Galbreath
- Do not let others dictate for you.
Whether that is your family or your major/department/professors or what you think society expects of you, do what is best for you.
- What is best for you and your long-term development down the road?
You need to take on roles that really develop and challenge you. With that in mind, you won’t know much about the next job until you take it.
- Fake it ‘till you make it!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask for mentors, and learn! Be involved with community. Be a sponge!
- “What would your 80 year-old self say while rocking on their porch looking back at that moment or decision?”
Would you be proud? Would you have regrets? Think of that moment
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