[MUSIC] So I’m a weed scientist at Iowa State University,
and I first became interested in this field due to a high school biology teacher I had
who got me hooked on plants, and so I initially started off in forestry at Purdue University
and decided that’s not where I wanted to be and just happened to fall upon weed science
through working as an hourly student for a weed scientist at the university.
After I graduated from Purdue University, I went to work for a tree-care company for
a couple of years and decided that’s not what I wanted to do and so after two years I went
back to graduate school and that’s something I recommend to a lot of students. You know,
grad school is great, but if you’re not really certain what you want to do, I think it makes
a lot of sense to go out and get a job to better define what your career goals are.
So I went back to graduate school, got a master’s degree at Virginia Tech. Then I was very fortunate
to get an opportunity to come to Iowa State and work for Extension while I did my PhD.
There’s all types of opportunities at the bachelor’s level. The majority of weed scientists
either end up working for academia in a position such as mine or they would work for one of
the large seed companies or herbicide manufacturing companies. So companies like Pioneer, Monsanto
hire many weed scientists, then some of the companies that are more straight on the herbicide
aspect—people like Syngenta and Bayer also do—but then there’s other opportunities
in terms of departments of agriculture. Every state has a department of agriculture that
oftentimes would hire these types of people. My favorite part is working with the farmers
to try to help them understand why weeds are causing them problems and how they can improve
their production practices to minimize the issues that the weeds cause. Finding, you
know, summer jobs that are in the field that you’re interested in—that’s how you can
separate yourself from your competing students. So get to know the professors in your department
and take advantage of the career services that the universities offer.