Name: Jenna Lansing
Hometown: Worthington, IA
Major and Graduation Date: Agricultural Business, Minor in Animal Science, May 2016
Favorite ISU Classes: Econ 334: Entrepreneurship in Ag; AnSci 426: Advanced Beef Management
Job Title and Employer: Agri-Food WatchDesk Manager at Aimpoint Research
Major Job & Position Responsibilities: Aimpoint Research is a global, strategic intelligence firm empowering intelligence-driven organizations. In my role as Agri-Food WatchDesk Manager, I supervise a team of analysts who monitor the agri-food value chain and all disruptions, trends and innovations that are occurring. We collect and synthesize intelligence to inform our clients on what is really happening and provide predictive insights. As a result of this intel, we are arming them to be successful in any business environment. I also manage several client relationships which include overseeing all market research projects, intelligence assessments and activation sessions.
What you like most about your job/position? I truly enjoy that I am learning something new each and every day. I also enjoy the thought-provoking challenge of connecting the dots, understanding what the intelligence means for our clients and recommending what actions they can take to be successful.
What advice would you give to current students pursuing a career in Agriculture and Life Sciences? In order to grow, one must get outside themselves by trying new things and meeting new people. Iowa State is one of the best places to do just that because there are so many resources and opportunities available to students both inside and outside the classroom. Utilize college as a time to grow and get out of your comfort zone.
Jenna's previous employer/job title:
Northern Ag Suppliers, Specialty Products Territory Manager
In my current position, I am launching and building a new specialty fertilizer products division. I carry Spraytec Fertilizers, which is a line of innovative foliar fertilizer products that use four unique technologies that are new to this market. Because these products are different, I have been working this year through NAS' existing sales channels to sell them and set up field trials so customers can witness firsthand the value the products can bring to their businesses and customers.
I enjoy many aspects of my job, including my daily interactions with farmers and ag retailers, the challenge of the job’s many moving parts and ways to be successful, and the diversity of crops I get to work with (corn, soybeans, alfalfa, pasture, sugar beets, edible beans, etc.). It is a constant learning curve!
During my time at Iowa State, I was heavily involved with the Ag Entrepreneurship Initiative. I had many opportunities to work on projects for the university and private sector companies where we explored different markets or developed plans to launch a new business unit.
When I started my job hunt, I decided to limit my career opportunities to positions that resembled this type of work instead of entering into a training program. Mike Gaul in CALS Career Services played a major part in my finding a position like this, giving me contacts at the right companies and organizations. He also encouraged me to apply for several jobs that he knew were the style I was looking for, even though the job description didn't necessarily show it.
The Ag Business major prepared me for this position by giving me practical experiences both in and out of the classroom to be a forward thinker, and to handle people and business strategy. The department faculty and staff are great at identifying what is going to make each student successful. In my situation, they pushed and challenged me to try new things and step out of my comfort zone. Without this, I don’t think I would be experiencing the success I am having in my current role after just one year in the work force.
My advice to students: If a job offer doesn't feel right, it’s okay to turn it down, even if you don’t have another offer. When looking for a position like this, you have to stick to your gut and not settle for a position just because you feel stressed or your peers are receiving and taking offers.