Contributed By Chantal Herrera
This summer I was granted an offer to return with John Deere as a Marketing Intern in Urbandale, Iowa. Being surrounded by agriculture I have been accompanied by a Deere in my every-day life activities. Whether I am at school, on the farm, or driving, I seem to always spot a John Deere tractor. My internship this summer, just like the last, has exceeded my expectations of what I thought an internship would entail. My projects this summer has revolved around Large Ag equipment, corn, soybeans, our dealers and our customers. I have learned these past two summers that John Deere loves acronym, so I want to share a few with you….
Intelligence Solutions Group (ISG)
Before I begin to talk about my summer experience I would like to share some background information on the department of John Deere I was a part of this summer. The Intelligence Solutions Group (ISG) is the branch of the company that specializes in creating new and advanced technology to improve yield and better food infrastructure. ISG is made up of over 800 employees whose jobs range from software developers, systems engineers, product testers, marketers and customer support personal. One of my biggest “Ah Ha!” moment has been being able to see all the work it takes to create this technology. When I used to see John Deere tractors with advanced technology, with something so simple as auto clutch for example, I would be so fascinated but I never took the time to wonder how or where this technology is invented. It has been an amazing experience to sit in Urbandale, IA with the rest of the ISG team. I have enjoyed taking part of improving the way we farm through innovation and technology. Now I would like to share with you a few projects I have been working on this summer.
Large Ag Integrated Solutions (LAIS) Dealer Training
My main projects have been developing content for the LAIS Dealer Training that takes place in Orlando, FL at the end of the year. Over 2,000 dealers across the county attend this event to learn about the new technology and equipment John Deere will be launching the following fiscal year. I have been working on creating the assessment questions the dealers will take after the training. I am also working on the opening session activities for the first and second days. My main project has been creating customer testimonials that will be showcased at this training. I traveled to Rochelle, IL to interview one of our row crop customers a few weeks ago, and I had the opportunity to hear about how close of a relationship our dealers have with our customers. This was a great experience for me to listen in on how John Deere is helping our customers save time and money through innovation and technology. I will be traveling to the Dakotas and Canada during my last week of my internship to interview a small grains customer. I am excited to learn about small grains and I am also very excited to travel to Canada!
Aside from my main projects, I have had time to squeeze in a few additional projects. The first, being a translator for John Deere dealers and employees who traveled from Argentina to one of our demo fields here in Iowa. We had John Deere employees from ISG demonstrate new precision agriculture technology to those who came from Argentina as a taste of what is to expect in the near future. A cool part of this project was to also get a taste of what is to come in the future! I cannot share any information as it is confidential, but I was blown out of the water with all of it! I think the best part of this project was that I was able to utilize my Spanish along with network with others outside of the country and learn about agriculture in Argentina. I will be doing something similar soon with folks from Spain and I cannot wait.
During my first week here in Iowa I went to our Leading Economic and Agronomic Decisions (LEAD) site and learn about corn and soybeans. I spent a lot of time learning about the different test trials agronomists from John Deere are conducting with students from Iowa State. This reminded me of what Cal Poly students do at the strawberry center. I had the opportunity to interview one of John Deere’s agronomists and create a promotional video for LEAD that was shared on the John Deere twitter page! My videos have received over 3,300 thousand views. It was my first week, my first project, and thanks to all that I have learned in my Agricultural Communication courses, I was able to execute those videos.
I have enjoyed my last two summers with Deere and I am beyond thankful to have received an offer to return a full-time employee in January. From traveling from the West Coast to the East Coast to now the Midwest with John Deere, I have learned that it is important get involved with the community I am surrounded by to feel connected and feel comfortable. I have enjoyed getting involved with the Deere community, the agriculture community and the community I have lived in. I have done this by networking with employees, talking to agronomists to learn about the agriculture community I am surrounded by, volunteering and finding a church to be a part of at my home away from home. I truly believe by doing this, it has helped make my internship experiences that much better.
John Deere’s work culture is like none that I have ever seen. It has been so easy to expand my network here. It has been as simple as adding time to someone’s calendar for a one on one. I have met so many people who are presidents in the company, employees who sit outside of the country, and so much more because everyone is so willing to meet with you! You really do not see that often especially in large corporate companies. Through these one on ones I was able to learn about the job opportunities I have with Deere and it continued to excite me about the future.
I am thankful to be a part of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) because without attending the National Conference, I would have not had the opportunity to interview with John Deere and receive this internship. I am also thankful to say I was able to execute so many of my projects that to the knowledge and experiences I have gained at Cal Poly as an Agricultural Communication student. I would like to give a quick shout out and huge thank you to Ms. Megan Silcott, Dr. Flores and Dr. De Lay for all the guidance and support you have given me to be successful in all that I do.
From the West Coast to the East Coast to now the Midwest, I am thankful I was accompanied by a Deere.