By Trevor M.
Manufacturing – Crop Protection Finance Intern and Student Ambassador

Finish a final. Graduate twice. Pack everything that I’ll need for three months. Move to St. Louis….

These were the only items left on my to-do list by the Thursday prior to the start of my internship. The time had finally come for this Southwest Missouri farm boy to tackle city life as a Manufacturing – Crop Protection Finance Intern at Monsanto.

Perhaps I should backtrack just a little to tell you more about myself. I grew up on my family’s farm, where we raised everything from cattle to sheep and grew anything from corn to buckwheat. Each year was exciting because things were always different; the farm never looked the same as it did the year before.

Upon graduating from high school, I began my college career as an Agribusiness Management major at the University of Missouri (Mizzou). After a year and a half in the program, I realized that I was not getting everything that I wanted out of the degree. While my heart was in Agriculture, my other passion was numbers. Although I was learning a lot about marketing and management, I wanted to learn more about finance and accounting. During the fall semester of my sophomore year, I decided to dual enroll as an Agribusiness Management and Accounting student.

I completed my B.S. in Agribusiness Management with honors in May, hence the two graduation ceremonies. This fall, I returned to Mizzou to finish the graduate requirements for a Masters degree in Accounting. 

 

The Internship

My first two days of the internship consisted of orientation at Monsanto headquarters, alongside dozens of interns that had been hired to work in business areas across the company. During orientation, I met several individuals that would later become some of my best friends this summer. We went on weekend adventures and hung out as much as possible, which made St. Louis feel smaller than the large city that it is.

On my third day of employment, I reported to my business area and received my main project for the summer. I was tasked with creating a workbook and dashboard for consolidation of cost centers for the North America Crop Protection plants; however, I would primarily work with the plant forecast files for Luling and Muscatine.

This project nearly lasted the entire summer, as I worked closely with the team to determine the information that would need to be extracted and summarized. Additionally, the project required me to develop a broad understanding of the crop protection business, including compliance and process improvement.

I was responsible for two other projects this summer which centered more around the actual business aspect of the company. For one assignment, I conducted a mock audit to determine if the reconciliations were adequately supported and had the necessary evidence to withstand examination. On another project, I partnered with a member of the team to remediate a recent audit.

Lastly, I traveled with team members to one of the Toller plants in Webster City, Iowa, to assist in a physical inventory count and audit of bulk chemicals and quick pro material.

 

Work Hard Play Harder

I truly enjoyed my finance projects, but if my summer had been all work and no play, it would not have been nearly as enjoyable as it turned out to be. There was plenty of time to sit by the pool, relax, and explore St. Louis with other interns—we even participated in several activities as an entire finance intern class. Among the top free attractions that we were excited to visit was the St. Louis Zoo. Then, there was the world-famous brewery tour that was very informative and fun—twice as fun for interns who were of legal age.

We also toured Grant’s Farm where we saw an array of different animals roaming the pastures; there were elk, deer, and buffalo to name a few. Additionally, we saw an elephant show and learned what makes elephants unique.

The finance internship program also made it possible to focus on personal and professional development in fun and meaningful ways. We made a difference through service by volunteering at a local urban farm, where we worked up a sweat giving back to the community. We also spent a day working on a case study involving decision making processes and learning about factors that influence critical decisions. This exercise also helped us to become more comfortable working in a team environment.

The fun did not stop there! Towards the end of our internship, we participated in a scavenger hunt around Monsanto’s Creve Coeur campus. It was complete with trivia, bean bag tossing, soybean counting, and corn shucking.

This summer was nothing short of amazing! I came to Monsanto knowing no one, but made friends that I cannot wait to see again, and I now have colleagues that will have my back as I begin my Monsanto career after graduation. You never know what to expect when you move to a new city and start a new job, but rest assured that with Monsanto, you will gain a whole new network and become part of a community.