Summer is the perfect time to explore potential employers and start to plan your career. For Mackenzie “Mac” Ross, this means racking up serious career-hatching experience with one of the world’s leading agricultural products companies.
This summer marks Mac’s fourth as a Territory Sales Assistant with Bayer CropScience. Based in Minnedosa, Manitoba, Mac spends his days meeting with farmers and retailers in the area to introduce them to Bayer CropScience’s products, checking in on existing customers to make sure they’re taken care of and gathering data for product research trials.
“As a Territory Sales Assistant, I am usually never going to the same place each morning and my office is essentially the Bayer CropScience truck I am issued each summer,” he says.
Mac’s four-year tenure with the company is a testament to how much he loves his job. Read on to see why Mac keeps coming back to Bayer CropScience!
Rise, shine and get moving
Mac wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30 each morning, depending on how far he has to drive, and starts the day by responding to emails, calling farmers and retailers to confirm appointments and checking the weather forecast.
“Just as the weather plays a huge role in a farmer’s job, it plays a huge role in mine,” he explains. “They’re making time for me to come out and promote Bayer CropScience’s products so I’ll wait for rainy days during their busy periods. Also, if the weather is poor, field scouting and staging may not be possible.”
Once out the door and in his office-on-wheels, Mac heads to his appointments for the day. This could mean meeting with different farmers to scope out their fields or stopping by various agriculture retailers who sell Bayer CropScience products to get an update on their mutual customers. Other days, he’ll participate in research trials in his territory. One thing’s for sure – no two days on the job are exactly the same.
“Before Bayer CropScience can take their products to market, they have to be tested in supervised trials under different climatic and geographic conditions,” Mac says. “These trials are also used to show customers how well our products perform in relation to others on the market. I’m responsible for taking pictures and gathering and inputting data from each trial.”
Variety and freedom on the job
As late July and August roll around, Mac will occasionally run tours for farmers and retailers. A tour consists of a day or afternoon spent showcasing Bayer CropScience products through trials in the area. Mac is responsible for setting up tour dates and eventually running them – an egg-citing level of autonomy for a summer student!
“At a tour I’ll walk through the plots and speak about our portfolio of crop protection products and seed varieties while showing how they work through evidence in the field,” he explains. “The tour usually wraps around lunch or dinner and sometimes there’s a round of golf for the participants. Tours can be a lot of fun and are a great opportunity to interact with customers.”
Beyond planning and running tours, Mac also has the freedom to build his own work schedule – a major job perk. “I usually work until 5:30pm but sometimes later and sometimes earlier, depending on how much I have completed and how much I have left to do that week,” he says.
With work comes play
Bayer CropScience knows their summer students work hard and deserve to let loose, which is why the Summer Associate program offers after-work activities throughout the summer. Not only does this give summer students a chance to unwind, it allows them to get to know one another and bond outside of work.
Golf tournaments, dinner with co-workers, and attending music festivals and sports games are all part of the Bayer CropScience summer lifestyle. There’s even a summer “wind-up” at the end of the season!
“For last summer’s wind-up, all of the summer students took a bus from Regina, Saskatchewan to Lethbridge, Alberta to tour Bayer CropScience’s seed processing facility,” Mac explains. “We spent two nights in Lethbridge and also got to go golfing and river tubing! Bayer CropScience treats their summer students well and host fun activities like these every summer.”