Student organizations enhance graduate’s college experience
Published May 2017
Bethany Erickson always wants to be learning, improving and helping other people. So she planned accordingly during her time at NDSU.
In addition to studying ag economics, Erickson held leadership roles in several student organizations, worked, interned and volunteered in the community. It led to some jam-packed days, but it also provided a well-rounded college experience that prepared her for success after graduation.
“You feel like you are more part of the campus and community when you get involved,” said Erickson, who graduates this spring. “It’s given me a lot of great experiences. Student organizations were a major highlight of my time at NDSU.”
Erickson was a member and vice president of the Agri-Business Club. She was active in the NDSU Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, NDSU Agronomy Club, NDSU Crops Judging Team and NDSU Ag Ambassadors. She also volunteered at The Dorothy Day House, Great Plains Food Bank and the Emergency Food Pantry in Fargo.
Each of the experiences broadened her world view and strengthened her career skills. “I learned time management, how to talk to employers, public-speaking techniques and was able to network with a lot of different people,” she said. “I’ll use a lot of what I learned in my career.”
Erickson’s work-study job also enhanced her campus experience. She was a research assistant on Xiwen Cai’s Wheat Genetics and Cytology project for four years.
Erickson has accepted a position with BASF, a world-leading chemical company which plays a key role in several industries. She will spend about 18 months in the company’s training program, including a stint in North Carolina, before becoming a business representative. She’ll help agriculture retailers and growers find personalized solutions to their ag-related problems. Erickson was an intern for BASF in central Illinois last summer, a position she heard about from a friend in the NDSU Agronomy Club.
"Farmers don't just want you to sell them a product; they want to know you're there as a partner in their operation for the long run. Trust is the key to creating and maintaining good relationships," said Erickson, who is from Roseau, Minnesota. "I've always wanted to be that person. Now I'll actually get the chance to do so."