Who We’re Hiring At…Coastal AgroBusiness
Want to know what agricultural distributor Coastal AgroBusiness, Inc., is looking for in a new hire? We sat down with regional sales manager Josh Allen (who is also a 1996 Agricultural Institute alum) to find out.
What qualities are you looking for in the “student of the future”? Why?
We look for people who have the ability to solve problems. As sales people, we like to be challenged, but we also need to challenge our customers, the farmers. We take a consultative approach at Coastal, so we’re not just there to sell our customers something – we’re there to ensure their future and make sure they’re productive and continue to be profitable. We want our future employees to have a strong understanding of soil science, of crop science, agronomy – we understand that our customers are going to have problems arise, and we want to be able to lead them into success in the future.
What makes a resume stand out?
When I look at resumes for internships, you’re looking for things that show a willingness to be dedicated – it could be something like being a state officer in FFA or held a leadership position in 4H for a period of time.
For full-time employment, the biggest thing we’re looking for is experience. The best thing a student can do while in school is have internships, the more the better. And we still look at grades, GPA and relevant coursework, along with involvement in clubs and leadership positions.
What are the most important things CALS can do to build you the future employees you need?
CALS is currently doing a good job. I would say some of the responsibility falls back on industry, to be constantly saying what we need, and that’s where we find our internship program comes in. We won’t hire every student, but we do want to help get kids ready to go into the workforce.
I would like to see an advisory board composed of people from industry – not just our business, but farmers, people working in distribution, research, manufacturing, across the board – that’s in constant contact with the university.
There have been so many changes in agriculture that we may not exactly know right now what we’ll be looking for in five years. We do know that the NC Plant Sciences Initiative has an important role, and will fill a big need – industry working in conjunction with the university will bring industry and CALS closer together, bridge the gap.