By Fraser Porteous
University of Strathclyde
So this is it – the end of my internship that I spent over half of a year compressing my excitement over. Thinking back to Day One, when Linda Newman and I were nervously sitting at Monsanto’s reception waiting to meet everyone for the first time, I can still remember every emotion as if it was just yesterday. I guess that’s the first thing that this summer has taught me – time flies. I’ve learned to make the most of every minute that I’ve had here, and I’ve had the opportunity to do so much this summer that I would probably never do in my life.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from my time here at Monsanto. As I’ve mentioned in prior blog posts, I have absolutely zero previous agriculture experience – purely business. I’m studying at the University of Strathclyde Business School in Glasgow, majoring in both marketing and management. However, I’ve found this summer to be extremely refreshing, as it’s given me a new outlook to where I would like my career to head in the future. In Scotland, our agriculture industry is somewhat limited when compared to that of the US. For this reason, just being here has exposed me to an industry that I wasn’t even fully aware of, and it’s generated a real passion to learn more as I head back to Scotland.
I’ve learned so much through my time with the company. I have been lucky enough to work on a wide array of projects – science outreach, website migration, customer strategy and IT, to name just a few. The aspect of my internship that I’ve enjoyed the most is the freedom to perform. At no point have we been sheltered by anybody – we’ve been left completely to our own accord.
Since I arrived here at Monsanto in June, it’s clear to see that I’m now a much more confident person, both personally and professionally. I now feel completely comfortable in a corporate environment, which is something new to me. After conversations with several of my fellow employees, I’m now going back to Scotland with the goal of completing my masters degree in marketing. Whether this will happen on the east or west of the Atlantic is anybody’s guess, but this summer has shown me that I have the motivation and drive to complete such a degree. I will be seriously considering my options when I return home.
So what will I miss about St Louis? Well, for a start, I’ll miss the people. The St Louis locals are, by far, some of the warmest people that I’ve ever met. Strangely enough, I managed to fall for the country music scene this summer, something I never thought I would hear myself say. It looks like I’ll now need to find a way to bring country music back to Scotland with me. Finally, I’ll miss waking up in the morning to warm sunshine, as that will soon be replaced with the typical grey, cloud-filled skies of Glasgow.
So for now, I guess this is goodbye. Thank you to both Monsanto and the Saltire Foundation for believing in me and offering me this internship, and I really do hope that I’ve been a true ambassador for Scotland. I’ve had the most incredible summer, and I can’t believe that the curtain is now closing on this chapter of my life.
Fraser worked for Monsanto as an intern this summer through a program hosted by the Saltire Foundation.