Written by Ayah Mohamed, ARE Communication Intern.
Meg is a Junior Ambassador in the Agricultural Business Management (ABM) undergraduate program. Students, like Meg, who serve as Ambassadors develop highly sought-after transferable skills including leadership, teamwork, time management, and listening skills. They will also help influence the pathway of the major for years to come. Ambassadors are important because they have unique student perspectives when it comes to recruitment and reaching the high school population. Meg applied to be an Ambassador because she found it to be a “great opportunity to build team experience with other exemplary students that shared a similar goal of working to make a difference for other current and prospective students through our major.” She explains that the Ambassadors before her set a great example, encouraging her to evolve her campus life and professional career, and she wanted to do the same for her peers.
Meg helps run her family farm while being a full-time student. The livestock operation is a business that has been passed down for generations and has become her passion. Growing up on a farm she was able to learn about farm financials and loans as well as the importance of record-keeping. She believes the skills she’s gained from the farm set her up for success in her current position as a Farm Loan Program Technician with the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). Meg says, “The farm is a business first and every day is a learning experience that in some way can count as a transferable professional skill, but it is also my passion that I love learning more of, sharing with others, and spending time around.”
When asked how she was able to balance working full time while also being a full-time student and helping on the farm, she starts by expressing her gratitude for each opportunity that has led her to be a full-time FSA employee. Meg explains that maintaining a work-life balance has been a challenge but has been able to manage by creating and following a detailed schedule. She is awake by 5:00 am and asleep by 10:00 p.m. She commits at least two hours every night to classwork and often dedicates her weekends to studying, working as an Ambassador, and helping on the farm. Meg says that she’s able to balance by practicing of self-control, following a schedule, and staying organized.
After graduation, Meg plans to move back home to build a house on her farm while working in her ideal position at the USDA FSA: a Farm Loan Officer.
“Being an ABM Ambassador has been a great opportunity to expand on my perseverance, teamwork, and community,” Meg says, and she appreciates that it gives her a connection to campus while being at home due to COVID-19.
Before Meg was an Ambassador, she took advantage of some of ABM’s resources to improve her resume. She attended career development programs, job shadowing, career fairs, internships, study abroad, working as a teaching assistant, and being a Career Coach. Participating in these professional development activities helped her to land the Ambassador role.
The advice Meg would give to incoming ABM students is to learn how to balance your time and keep trying new things.
“For obvious reasons, I would not have accomplished all that I have professionally without being organized and motivated. You need to take advantage of this learning environment to learn more about yourself, your community, your interest, and your development. Learning as much as you can professionally and personally will take lots of new and different experiences, so take yourself a little further outside of your comfort zone to get the most out of your college experience.”
The ABM program is proud to have Meg as a representative. Her accomplishments and achievements highlight the value-added components of the program. The ABM community wishes Meg the best of luck on her journey ahead!