AGEC Students’ Internships in Customer and Product Support
Written by Kendell Combs, Junior, Agribusiness Management & Agricultural Communication
A few students from the AGEC department were able to build upon their networking skills during their internships involving customer and product support over the summer. Each of the students interned with John Deere but had different experiences of making an impact on the company and gaining new skills in this sector.
Samantha Klemme (Junior; Applied Agricultural Economics; Otterbein, IN) was the Marketing Intern at Harvester Works located in Moline, Illinois. Her main project this summer was to reevaluate the current product marketing material that John Deere provides to dealerships around the world. Samantha conducted a survey over the course of two weeks that made it possible for her to gather valuable insight that John Deere will be using to accommodate the material in the future. “My favorite part of this summer was to be able to have a small impact on the future of the ag industry.” John Deere places high importance on networking and exploring different functional areas, which allowed Samantha to establish many different connections with other interns and employees during her summer internship.
Austin Hubbell (Senior; Agribusiness Marketing; Lewisville, IN) was a Customer & Product Support Intern and was located in Waterloo, Iowa. He was at the Product Engineering Center where he worked with the customer support team in product planning for large tractors. The focus for his summer project was organizing and facilitating a Dealer Focus Group for six different dealerships across the country. His group informed these dealers on new designs and concepts based on customer feedback on these items, so they could deliver the results to the engineering teams. Austin will take away the great amount of knowledge he gained in project management and how dealers influence others in a positive way to better impact the enterprise, which is something he had no had previous experience with. “I owe a lot to John Deere as it helped me get out of my comfort zone, go do something new and different, and really find a passion for those that are linked to the land.”
Nelson Knobloch (Junior; Agribusiness Management; Wolcott, IN) was the Product Line Marketing Intern for mid & large tractors. He was located in Waterloo, Iowa, at Tractor and Cab Assembly Operations. His main project involved developing an in-depth competitive comparison for one of the tractor families to increase sales and market share and to better understand advantages and disadvantages of Deer & Company’s products compared to the competition. “I gained a lot of technical information and knowledge this summer, but also learned about development and growth as an individual.” He learned the importance of understanding customer needs, the value of being competent in your area of expertise, and the fact that you can never ask enough questions. This experience helped Nelson better discover his passions, develop his career goals, and grow understanding of the agricultural machinery industry.
Other AGEC students who had internships in this sector include Mallory Butler and Ezra Kies.