By Richard M., Commercial Finance Intern & Student Ambassador
This summer, I had the opportunity to work for Monsanto as a Commercial Finance Intern, and it has definitely been my favorite job experience! Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, I knew that Monsanto was a global agriculture company, but I didn’t know much more about it than that. My love for agriculture truly began when I was young; I had the opportunity to drive around my uncle’s farm and saw some of the corn that he grew. This experience led me to think about how interesting life as a farmer must be, and I wanted to learn more about the process that farmers go through to produce the food that we eat everyday. This exposure piqued my interest in the agriculture industry, which led me to Monsanto later in life.
When I entered college, I never thought about agriculture from a business perspective. With most of my classes revolving around banking and various financial institutions, it was hard to understand how Monsanto fit into the business world. Thankfully, due to Monsanto’s presence at multiple career events hosted by the University of Missouri, I was able to meet a few Monsanto recruiters who helped me to see how a finance student would fit into Monsanto’s work force. The recruiters assured me that Monsanto’s vision, enabling farmers to grow more food while conserving more natural resources, provides a real opportunity for business majors to add value within the company. Luckily, after a round of interviews with those same recruiters, I accepted a job with Monsanto as a Commercial Finance Intern.
Since I lacked experience in the ag industry when I came to Monsanto, I was nervous and wondered how I would fit in. However, my initial fears were soon relieved thanks to the incredible efforts of the U.S. Commercial team. They answered all of the questions that I had about agriculture and encouraged me to network with various departments in the company, which enabled me to gain a strong understanding of Monsanto’s business functions.
Through my internship, I was able to add value to Monsanto’s customers by using business analytics to evaluate specific grower financing programs at a regional level. As a result, business area leads at Monsanto now have a better understanding of the effectiveness of some of the financing programs—and can pass that same value on to customers. For me, this type of work is right in line with my values, as I’ve always wanted to work for a company that makes a positive impact on people. I believe that I was able to directly help Monsanto’s growers through my role, which made doing the work easy for me. It not only felt great to help growers, but having the opportunity to assist my co-workers with various projects that were necessary to the business was empowering. Towards the end of my internship, I was asked, “Did you ever feel like an intern?” My answer to this question was, “No; instead, I felt like a full-time employee.” This is the benefit of working for Monsanto as a college student; rather than doing mundane work, the company gives students challenging responsibilities and the necessary resources to finish the job, which leaves interns feeling proud to have completed the work that was assigned.
The reason that I decided to apply to be a Monsanto Student Ambassador was simple: I enjoyed the culture of the company, the work that I did, and the people who surrounded me. I knew that my role as a student ambassador would enable me to assist in recruiting high-performing students, especially those who may have never considered agriculture as a viable destination for someone with a business background. As an ambassador, I want to get in front of as many students as I can and help them to understand not only what Monsanto does today, but how they too, can be a part of Monsanto’s vision moving forward. If my work as a student ambassador only helps one student, then it will have been worth my effort.
I appreciate every opportunity that Monsanto has given me, and I cannot wait to return after graduation next spring—only this time, it will be as a full-time employee.