“Oh the Places You’ll Go” - Tips for the Recent Grad from the Bayer CropScience Human Resources Department
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Working for the human resources department at Bayer CropScience, I often get questions like, “What is your ideal employee?” and “What advice would you give to recent college graduates?”
Thankfully, the advice I have is simple, and with a little digging and motivation, I think this generation of college grads will be just fine.
As the VP of Global Human Resources for the Seeds Division, I see a wide range of candidates: those right out of college with no experience, and those with twenty years in the business.
Experience in the ag industry is rare, which is surprising to some people. So if science, technology and innovation are interesting to you, don’t be scared off by the name “CropScience.” Every competitive differentiator counts, whether it is an internship at a marketing company, or a co-op in the agriculture business.
Bayer CropScience has four LIFE company pillars: Leadership, Integrity, Flexibility and Efficiency. For college graduates, we look at leadership positions as a great judge of character and ability to take on responsibility and a challenge. We want to hire people with integrity, a passion for ag and the business, and a desire to learn. Flexibility also falls into that willingness to learn. It is important for our employees to be able to work well as a team member. Efficiency comes with asking questions, and taking the initiative to make our business more efficient. Another important note about these four pillars is although we consider them ours; they aren’t unique to our company. Everyone seeking job opportunities should work on these characteristics, as they can be applied in everything you do!
Now, what BIG advice do I have? It’s simple – take initiative, and seek out relationships. Think about what you want to do, and then think about who might be able to connect you. We get a lot of resumes and a lot of information through our system, so knowing someone never hurts. LinkedIn is a pretty great tool when seeking jobs, because you can find people who you know that work in the business you’re interested in. It may take some time to build these connections, but it’s worth it, and makes it easy to learn more about an industry and potential opportunities.
I also have a piece of advice for students – we have industry leaders go out to their alma mater and speak on behalf of Bayer CropScience. If those types of opportunities arise at your school, don’t pass them up. Attend, get involved, ask questions and take the risk of introducing yourself and getting a business card. You never know when you might need that contact.
I will finish my words of advice with sharing the significance of working for a company like Bayer CropScience. We often find in our conversations that most individuals aren’t aware of the range of opportunity here. Most people think it’s “just ag”. However, this is not the case. When we educate others on what we do with the business, most are enlightened by the vastness of the business – and that opportunity shouldn’t be underestimated.
With that being said, go out there and demonstrate your drive, ask a lot of questions and don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. Good luck!
For more information about job opportunities at Bayer CropScience visit our LinkedIn page or career.bayer.com. You can also join the Twitter conversation by following @Bayer4CropsUS and #FutureofAg.
About the Author:
Vice President, Global Human Resources, Seeds
Bayer CropScience LP
Meredith Lawhon leads Global Human Resources for Seeds, the seeds and traits business within Bayer CropScience LP, with a presence in 70 countries.
As vice president of Global Human Resources for Seeds, Meredith develops and leads the implementation of the Global Seeds HR Strategy including talent acquisition, management and retention for employees throughout the business. She also serves as senior leader for all HR issues.
Meredith is passionate about giving back to the community and believes in making a difference. In 2012, Meredith received the Triangle 40 under 40 Leadership Award. She has been involved with groups like JDRF, Passage Home, The Queen’s Foundation and the Triangle United Way.