Agronomy alumna Julie Abendroth
Agronomy alumna Julie Abendroth talks about how a degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture helped pave the way for a career at Corteva Agriscience. She also offers career advice to Nebraska students.
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[00:00:03.920]Hi, my name is Julie Abendroth
[00:00:05.580]and I work for Corteva Agriscience
[00:00:07.780]as a Global Biology Leader, within research and development.
[00:00:11.650]I graduated from the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture
[00:00:14.700]at the university of Nebraska Lincoln
[00:00:16.540]with degrees in agronomy, both undergrad and graduate.
[00:00:20.320]I grew up around agriculture because my dad farms
[00:00:23.070]and so I was exposed to ag at a very young age.
[00:00:26.560]I've always had an interest in science and math
[00:00:29.410]and been passionate about the outdoors.
[00:00:31.960]I always love being outdoors and so it was a natural step
[00:00:35.770]to then pursue an agronomy degree.
[00:00:40.970]One thing that I love about my job right now is that
[00:00:43.570]as a global biology leader,
[00:00:45.200]within research and development here at Corteva,
[00:00:48.300]I have the opportunity to interact with colleagues across
[00:00:51.470]the globe on a daily basis.
[00:00:53.340]Drive the science that we do in those areas
[00:00:56.520]and develop real tangible solutions
[00:00:58.930]for our farmer customers in those regions.
[00:01:01.510]Another thing that I love about my job
[00:01:03.640]is getting to interact
[00:01:04.950]with folks across a range of disciplines.
[00:01:07.730]So for example, yesterday,
[00:01:09.070]I was thinking through my day and who I met with
[00:01:11.670]and had conversations with
[00:01:13.540]and I visited with a sunflower breeder, a physicist,
[00:01:17.770]a data scientist and an agronomist.
[00:01:20.570]And so being here on the Corteva Campus
[00:01:23.050]I'm exposed to a lot of different perspectives and mindsets
[00:01:26.730]which helps improve me as a scientist
[00:01:28.640]and just encourages and challenges.
[00:01:34.700]I've had the opportunity to work across
[00:01:36.900]a range of positions.
[00:01:38.450]After graduate school,
[00:01:40.000]I began my career as an extension agronomist
[00:01:42.840]with the University of Missouri and I was in that role
[00:01:45.420]for six years.
[00:01:46.520]Following that I came on board with Pioneer
[00:01:49.270]and have had the opportunity to work across
[00:01:51.890]the business in a variety of positions,
[00:01:53.710]both within the commercial sales side of the business,
[00:01:57.070]within seed production
[00:01:58.530]and then within research and development.
[00:02:00.870]And so I've worked in capacities such as
[00:02:03.060]an agronomy trials manager position, as an agronomist,
[00:02:06.670]a research scientist and now as a global biology leader.
[00:02:14.170]When we look at developing and launching products
[00:02:16.590]within research and development, it's a long process.
[00:02:19.370]It can take upwards of 8 to 15 years
[00:02:21.430]depending on the technology and so
[00:02:23.770]we continue to pursue very hard work and very diligently
[00:02:27.900]to bring products to market.
[00:02:29.730]Through it all the thing that's really fulfilling for me
[00:02:32.350]and what drives me is my passion
[00:02:34.620]for improving the productivity and sustainability
[00:02:37.350]of our cropping systems around the world.
[00:02:44.100]I would one encourage you to focus on diversifying
[00:02:49.080]So don't necessarily be that concerned about getting
[00:02:52.340]the highest paying internship right out the (indistinct)
[00:02:54.930]but rather focus on diversifying.
[00:02:56.910]So when I was an undergrad,
[00:02:58.510]I pursued multiple types of internships
[00:03:01.230]working in a molecular genetics lab,
[00:03:03.420]working in field research with the Weed Science team
[00:03:06.030]and partnering with industry on internship experiences.
[00:03:08.840]So try to diversify your collegiate experience.
[00:03:12.040]Number two, I would also encourage you to
[00:03:14.920]get to know your strengths, learn them early on,
[00:03:17.920]and then really lean heavily into those strengths
[00:03:19.970]and be confident.
[00:03:20.930]You're not going to be able to be good at everything,
[00:03:23.370]but focus on your strengths.
[00:03:30.470]It's actually been pretty fun.
[00:03:32.390]There's a number of us University of Nebraska Lincoln
[00:03:34.790]graduates here within the walls of Corteva
[00:03:38.070]either on our campus here or at outlying research stations
[00:03:42.460]and production locations.
[00:03:44.080]And so it's a real treat to run across one another
[00:03:46.810]and have those connections that we still can leverage
[00:03:49.970]on a daily basis.
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