Current employer/job title: Cooperative Resources International, International Business Specialist
Cooperative Resources International (CRI) is a global animal genetics company that works in 70 countries. I work with our retail countries — Brazil, Mexico, and Canada — to provide marketing materials, analyze data, and manage the products that they receive. I also manage two of our wholesale countries — Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. I help our distributors there decide which products will work best in their country and serve as their contact if they need anything. I also make sure that they stay up to date with what is happening at CRI. Another one of my tasks is to plan our CRI University, which brings our distributors and producers to the United States from around the world. They get information from industry professionals and university professors, and tour farms in the United States.
I love that every day is different, that there are so many opportunities to develop myself professionally, and to experience different cultures. In one year of working with CRI, I have made four international trips and four trips within the United States. These travel opportunities have allowed me to grow my knowledge of agriculture around the world and to gain a better understanding of different cultures. CRI has also given me opportunities to develop myself professionally by providing Spanish tutoring, sending me to conferences, and letting me further my education with a dairy herd management course from Penn State.
I chose this job because I wanted a challenge and I wanted to work internationally. I felt a connection with everyone that I interviewed with. They made me feel like I would really fit in with the culture of the company.
My Ag Business major helped me prepare for my position by challenging me. At Iowa State, you are challenged to learn things rapidly — something I now face on the job every day. Without the rigorous Ag Business program preparing me for this, I do not think that I would be as successful. Another thing that the Ag Business program prepared me for was to be able to look at commodity markets and know how the market will react. This is talked about quite frequently at work, so it’s pretty cool to be able to use the knowledge I learned in economics classes to interpret the data!
If you’d like to work internationally, I suggest that you take every opportunity to study abroad and become familiar with as many cultures as possible. I work with people from other countries every day. This means that I need to be respectful of their cultures and the ways they communicate. My minor in Spanish helped me stand out during my job search. Companies are always looking for people who can communicate in different languages.