Destination Career is a series profiling recent Purdue Agriculture graduates. 
For more alumni stories, visit our Destination Caree​r archive.

Grad growing career in customer service

By Cameron Hardin

Carlee Glassburn

Photo provided by Carlee Glassburn

Carlee Glassburn earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communication in 2015. Today, she works for Kokomo Grain where, she says, her training in communication helps her better serve her customers and build her career.​​ ​Full-size image (2.12 MB)

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Carlee Glassburn’s first job after earning a Purdue bachelor’s degree in agricultural communication in 2015 was not entirely what she expected it to be.

“I remember walking in on the first day and thinking to myself, ‘Where do I begin with this new learning curve?’” said Glassburn. “I knew I had to jump in somewhere and take off walking forward, and that exactly what I did.”

Just like the many workers at Kokomo Grain over the years, Glassburn had first-day jitters. She enjoys her work, but admitted the nerves have certainly been present. She spends her workday interacting with farmers and representatives of the agriculture industry, among many other odds and ends. The title “Customer Service Representative” does sum up what she does each day.

“I signed on to work at Kokomo Grain in the spring of 2015 as a customer service rep in training to eventually become a grain merchandiser,” she said. “And over the course of several months, I have realized the best way serve her customers and build her career. for me to learn the economics of agriculture is to practice and get to know what everyone else in the office does.”

As with any job, increased responsibility will come with time, such as more in-depth interaction with customers.

And while she enjoys her current tasks, it isn’t exactly what she envisioned when she earned her degree. A typical day involves answering phone calls and questions from farmers about their grain, event planning with other local business involvement and miscellaneous tasks around the office, inside and out.

Glassburn credits her communication degree with her success.

“Having a communication degree, specifically in agriculture, really helped build my portfolio and character,” said Glassburn. “I’m already a people-person, but the degree from Purdue brought encouragement and gave me an instant connection with other Purdue graduates.”

While challenges can come often, Glassburn said she is becoming better at hurdling them. A large portion of her job is reading commentary from other economics professionals in agriculture and deciphering the trending charts and graphs.

Having to expand her knowledge to grasp the world of grain marketing was something that attracted her to the job offer. Glassburn expressed how she didn’t want a job that made her overly comfortable in what she already knew.

“If I get comfortable with where I am and stop feeling challenged, that may be a sign of times to move to something different,” she said. “That’s something I know I won’t have to deal with for a long while here, and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Another attractive part of the job is that it is in her hometown: Kokomo, Indiana.

“A recurring dream of mine was to find a job near home,” she said. “When I was informed of Kokomo Grain attending the career fair at Purdue, I knew it couldn’t be anything more than God providing me with an incredible opportunity just to talk to them that day.”

Glassburn has never been one to want to be away from home and family for too long.

“Where I grew up, people held the most meaning, and relationships were valued above all else” she said. “And present day, that is just a natural way of living my life, so that’s how I will live it with each customer interaction – with most value.”

And she has put those connections to good use.

“It’s amazing how many people around the community have helped me with my job,” she said. “They’re all my No. 1 fans, it seems. They want to help and see me succeed.”