So here we are. Eight weeks to the day that I arrived in sunny St Louis, I’m packing my bags and getting ready to go back to not-so-sunny Scotland.
The past eight weeks have been challenging, fascinating and memorable. As a journalism student with very little knowledge of agriculture or bioscience (or marketing and public affairs for that matter!), I didn’t really know what to expect from interning here. .But looking back, I feel more confident, knowledgeable and driven ahead of my return to university in Glasgow.
I now have experience in an array of roles; contributing to Global Branding projects, carrying out research on corporate reputation, writing content for a Global corporate website, using software to migrate websites and I also got to show my own creativeness in developing a unique customer experience exercise, which I hope the company will use in the future. All of these projects have improved my self-confidence and I will no doubt use many of these new skills in my future career. After all, that is why the Saltire Foundation chose me to come here in the first place – to develop my skills and experience in a global environment, in order to go back to Scotland and put them to good use.
Having free reign to connect with anyone in the entire company has been of the highest value here as it has given me the chance to learn about all the different facets that a company of this size has. This led me to meet with passionate people who work within a corporate environment, to help others. I met with the Human Rights lead to discuss corporate responsibility and global issues facing the company. I met with the head of the Monsanto Fund to learn about how big corporations can give back to their communities; and I met with the lead of the WEMA project to find out more about efforts to tackle drought in sub-Saharan Africa. Each of these people came from completely different backgrounds and it has been refreshing to hear about the work that they do. Each has had different advice to offer, all of which I appreciate hugely.
St. Louis itself has also been very good to me. The people here are among the friendliest I’ve met anywhere in the world, and my strange/Irish accent has managed to get me into a number of comical situations/conversations, all of which I can take happy memories from. I’ve fallen in love with the city’s outstanding Blues music scene and am particularly fond of ‘BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups’ downtown. But most importantly, I’m now a STL Cardinals fan and will someday return to Busch stadium!
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Monsanto and in St Louis and will return to Ireland and Scotland with nothing but good things to say!
Slán go fhoil (until next time),
By Rory Herron
Editor’s note: Rory Herron is one of two UK interns spending their summer at Monsanto’s global headquarters, under a program with Scotland’s Saltire Foundation. The Saltire Foundation is an independent charitable organization representing a new vision for Scotland, providing invaluable opportunities through experience, learning and business networking. Its undergraduate internship programme offers Scotland’s students the chance to spend 8 weeks working at a top multinational company with the aim of encouraging candidates to develop their confidence, skills and capacity to succeed.