Seek and Thrive
Originally a Plant Science student at a major university in the University of Tennessee system, a few friends of mine and I held a discussion in 2016 and decided that it was the right time to tackle a startup idea that we shared for several years. We launched our agricultural tech company in January of 2017, and moved to the Willamette Valley to begin our operations. By mid 2018, it was clear that we faced major obstacles preventing us from achieving our company goals without equally major decision changes; ones which we believed were not likely to put us back on track. In a new state, over 2,200 miles from where I called home, I faced a decision: to return home, a year older, mitigate risk, and finish my degree; or stay put, seek opportunity, and thrive wherever I may find myself (and wow, had I fallen in love with where I found myself). After an extensive search, I knew the Agricultural Business Management degree at Oregon State was an opportunity too great to pass, one which leads to an equally ideal Applied Economics graduate program. The opportunity had presented itself, and looking back, I do not imagine a better option could have existed.
Open the Door
Along my path, I have had many opportunities present themselves, thanks to The Department of Applied Economics, The College of Agricultural Sciences, and Oregon State University as a whole, which were critical in achieving my goals. This College opens doors, and if you show up in pursuit, opportunities lie behind them.
Beginning with internships in small-scale production agriculture, and leading to agricultural research internships, multiple research assistantships, and a teaching assistantship, the opportunities I had throughout my education, and because of my education, are irreplaceable.
Exactly What I Want
I truly believe the professors within the College of Agricultural Sciences to be some of the greatest in the world. Take the time to know their work outside of the classroom. All of them are interested in helping you achieve your goals, and along with being incredible teachers, are also likely to have opportunities outside of the classroom to help you achieve your goals. Today I find myself doing exactly what I had originally set out to do, in the exact fields I hoped to be working in. That is, in agricultural finance and lending.
Take a Bite
Incoming students: First and foremost, take the time to enjoy where you are. I have not found a better place myself, and your time here will end in the blink of an eye. Also, find your passion, and learn how you can capitalize on it. Success takes many forms, and finding the right path will lead to the right type of success for you.
Students preparing for professional life: Be open to opportunity. I will share the two greatest pieces of advice that I believe to have ever received:
1. Show up and pursue excellence. Just by showing up, you put yourself above everyone who didn't. Always involve yourself because you never know where opportunity will present itself.
2. Bite off more than you can chew, and then just chew it. This advice will help you in many facets of your life, and will serve you well when you believe the weight of the world to be on your shoulders.