Written by Ayah Mohamed
Our student spotlight highlights the achievements and growth of Junior Ambassador, Jonathan Weavil. Jonathan is an ambassador for the Agricultural Business Management (ABM) Program; his role entails potential student outreach, leadership, and professional development. He applied to be an ambassador in hopes of representing the capabilities of the program and influencing others to join. Jonathan explains that being an ambassador has helped him grow his skills, both professional and personal, and is preparing him for the career field. Being an ambassador has exposed him to opportunities for growth and development, which he hopes to express to his peers.
Jonathan is from a small family farm in Stokes County, North Carolina. His family farm-raised Angus and Simmental beef cattle. His upbringing sparked an interest in agriculture at an early age and as he grew older he realized he wanted to pursue a career in the agricultural field. By joining the Future Farmers of America (FFA) club at his high school, it provided him with an opportunity to learn more and make lifelong connections. Jonathan says that his agriculture teacher made an impact on him and influenced him to decide on joining the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at NC State.
Jonathan discovered the ABM program and further learned about the opportunities it had to offer. Upon entering the program, he was unsure of what he wanted as a career and knew he wanted something broad and flexible that could lead him somewhere successful. He looked for a program that focuses on professional development and preparedness for the agricultural field. The large variety of career opportunities and pathways the degree holds determined his final decision. Jonathan was attracted to the program because he wanted to merge business with the industry which he says, “feeds the world.”
Ambassadors in the ABM Program hold several roles, including assisting in events, mentoring peers, and encouraging job opportunities. Jonathan says being an Ambassador has affected him in his studies as well, pushing him to be more proactive and efficient. He worked as a Grain Procurement Intern for Smithfield Foods and holds a job at NC State’s Educational Feed Milling Unit. He is also involved in multiple student organizations such as the NC State Young Farmers and Ranchers and the Agribusiness Management Club. Jonathan says, “while it can be hard to balance all of these things, being an ambassador has helped me to set priorities and plan out my days and weeks so that I can get everything accomplished.”
Jonathan loves the ABM program because of the doors it opens to a wide range of career opportunities. He says the resources are diverse and vast, providing students with the skills and materials needed for a successful career after graduation. Like others before him, Jonathan emphasizes the impact people of the program have made on him. He explains that the connections and relationships built with faculty, advisors, and peers have eased his transition into the program and have made it more enjoyable. These connections have allowed him to have discussions with people who will help him make the right decisions and lead him towards a prosperous path. Jonathan refers to the association of “Small School Feel, Big School Opportunities” to the program and ensures its truth. He says the smaller class sizes help connect you to peers easily, while still providing a range of pathways for students to be prepared for their future.
After graduating from the program, Jonathan hopes to pursue an MBA or Masters of Agribusiness Management, while exploring career opportunities in Commodity Procurement, Sales, and Agricultural Finance.
When asked what advice he would give to incoming students, he said to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. He explains that ABM offers tons of chances to students who are interested in growing personally and professionally. Jonathan says, “from my first semester, I realized that ABM truly provides students with as many resources for success and career development as possible. Taking advantage of those opportunities has helped me to be successful.”
Editor’s Note: Jonathan Weavil has accepted a summer internship role with Butterball, LLC as an International Sales Intern.