We received a comment Monday from a student asking a question about the blog post on the Monsanto Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program. This was the comment:
“It is my second year in the school of molecular and life sciences, and I would like to take botany as my major course. But the problem is that I don`t know much about botany. Would you please tell me about it, and what kind of a job I would be doing?”
We asked three of our people in the Technology organization to answer that question. Here’s what they said.
Glenda: “Being that my degree is in horticulture, more the commercial end of making some kind of living with plants, I see botany as more specialized. Work might take this person to the Missouri Botanical Gardens for research or in the commercial cut flower business. I’d sure lean more to this as an applicant for here at Monsanto.”
Jackie: “My degree in botany led me first to teaching the subject at a community college level, and then to Monsanto. My focus was on plant development and evolution, and I made use of electronic tools in my research. The result is that I have now landed in an IT role in Technology. I use my background to interpret between software developers and users in many roles at Monsanto.”
Bonnie: “Botany (plant science) is a really broad field, and one can focus on many aspects of botany for a career. At Monsanto we employ people who care for growing plants and need to understand the nutrient, light, and temperature requirements of different crops to grow them well in growth chambers, greenhouses, and in the field. We need botanists who understand the molecular side of plants to discern modes of action of different biological pathways. We need people who can look at the microscopic level at pollen to discern whether it is viable and at cross-sections of growing points to determine if they are behaving as we would expect or at plant organelles to discover whether there’s something we can learn.
“Monsanto employs people who work with plants in tissue culture to grow entire new plants from small clumps of cells. Then there are breeders who understand their specific crop and how to breed different traits in and out. There’s a lot one can do with botany, for sure, and additional coursework in the subject can help you specialize in something you really like within botany.”
This link was suggested as a good source of information about careers in botany: http://www.botany.org/bsa/careers/car-what.html.