Thomas Marchetti Recklaw, Tex. / 21 Biological and Agricultural Engineering BS, 2015 Texas A&M University My advice to a freshman beginning a bio/ag degree program? Reach out to peers, professors, community members—cultivate connections. Try new experiences—do research, tackle internships. And visit new places—other cities, states, and countries— study abroad! I was a summer research intern at Kansas State focused on field-based high-throughput phenotyping, with crop breeders, plant pathologists, biologists, bioinformaticists, and engineers working together to streamline the process of gathering physical crop data to shorten the crop improvement timeline for drought/heat tolerance, disease resistance, and yield increases. The group I worked with specialized in wheat improvement, but the system can be applied to corn, grain sorghum, and other crops. In the global marketplace, it’s important to experience other cultures. Top companies often look for international experience in job candidates. During my undergraduate years, I traveled to Scotland for a course on U.K. Natural Resources and Agricultural Sustainability, and I spent five weeks in Brazil on a faculty-led program based in Rio de Janeiro. That latter suitcase event included two important petroleum and mechanical engineering courses and visits to Furgo, a manufacturer and operator of subsea UAVs; to a Bohemia distillery; and to ONS, the control center for the Brazilian power grid. In short, excellent engineers are well rounded! Biological and agricultural engineering is a diverse field with broad possibilities. Prepare to take your place in the world community to help solve very relevant problems.
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