In-Person Professional Development Workshop 

“The Way To My First Job” 

-Understand and Practice the Interview and Hiring Process-

In-Person Professional Development Workshop 

Wednesday, OCTOBER 27, 2021 from 10:00am–2:00pm     

Sponsored by the NAPB Commercial Plant Breeding Committee. Represented by BASF, Corteva and Driscoll’s. 

Join us for an exciting professional development session focused on understanding the interview and hiring process in companies of various sizes. Understand the way companies conduct interviews, the kind of questions that are asked and how to best answer them. In this session you will practice both to be in an interviewee being asked questions, as well as to be in the role of the interviewer to understand their perspective. You will better understand the structure of the interview process and to whom to ask what questions and when and how to negotiate your hiring conditions.  

The purpose of this workshop is for students to better understand how to navigate the hiring process in the private sector and practice interview skills as well as understand what to expect during the hiring process. The workshop is free of charge to Texas A&M students in all fields of agricultural sciences.

Highlights of this workshop include: 

  • Phases of the interview and hiring process. 
  • Behavior based questions 
  • Practice to answer as interviewee as well as try to be the interviewer. 
  • Understand the potentially different roles of various interviewers as well as HR
  • Understand what may be negotiable and what may not and when and how and to whom to address your concerns in the process. Insights from a panel of the three trainers how their company may proceed to understand similarity differences within Industry. 

The way to my first job is co-sponsored by BASF, Corteva Agriscience and Driscoll’s. The three facilitators will be Chibwe Chungu, Rick Harrison and Klaus Koehler.

Chibwe Chungu is the Head of Breeding with BASF Vegetable Seeds, providing oversight of all vegetable breeding programs in the Americas.  Chibwe has been involved directly in leading breeding programs for both Field (Canola, Cotton, Corn, wheat, and Barley) and 10 vegetable crops for more than 22 years. She previously worked with Dow Chemical (Dow AgroSciences) for 18 years and joined BASF-VS in 2018. She also worked for a year as a Research Group Leader with RD4AG where she provided leadership and management of Agronomy Research team working of various field and vegetable crops. Chibwe holds a BSc in Crop Production, MSc in Plant Breeding from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and PhD from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec in Plant Breeding. Chibwe lives in Galt, CA area with her Son.

Rick Harrison is Vice President of Global Variety Development for Driscoll’s, overseeing breeding programs in strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry.  Rick started with Driscoll’s as a Raspberry Breeder in 1998 and has since been involved in many other aspects of the company including the management of R&D, Production and Nursery. Rick has an MS in Horticulture, a PhD in Plant Breeding from the University of Minnesota and an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in Agronomy.  Rick resides in the Watsonville California area with his wife and two daughters.

Klaus Koehler is the Global Talent Development Lead for Seed Product Development in Corteva Agriscience R&D. Klaus has 30+ years’ experience, directing breeding programs in smaller and larger global companies and during this time has hired or overseen the hiring of many plant breeders or other scientists. Klaus holds a PhD from Hohenheim University, Germany in Plant Breeding. In his current role he leads the talent development process spread across all geographies for a large part of the Corteva R&D population. Klaus resides in the Des Moines IA, area with his wife and daughter. 

The workshop is limited to 50 applicants who will be reviewed and selected. 

Application Deadline: Friday, October 15th 2021 

Click here to register for “The Way To My First Job”

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