Alumni Profile – JoJo Martinac

Ankeny, IA
Team Leader in Corn Transformation at DuPont Pioneer

What is your current position, title, company?
Team Leader in Corn Transformation at DuPont Pioneer

Do you think this program helped you move forward professionally? Can you talk a little more about that?
Yes, I believed the program helped me move forward professionally more quickly than if I had not completed the program.  Even though I got the position I was striving for before I graduated from the program, being over half way done with my masters was one of the determining factors for me getting this position instead of other candidates.  By getting this position faster than expected has given me the opportunity to acquire management skills earlier in my career, which will allow me to develop in my profession.

What advice do you have for students considering applying for this program?
My biggest piece of advice would be to do your homework before starting the program.  This is at least a 3 year commitment that can be very time consuming.  Life doesn’t stop because you are taking classes.  Talk to others that have balanced school and work to get their perspectives; how they managed, curriculum, weekly time requirements, etc.   Once you have this knowledge and decide this is the right career move for you, you will have guaranteed success.

How did “online” work for you?
Online classes worked great for me. When I first decided I wanted to go back to school, I thought I would attend classes on campus.  I set up a day on campus where I could meet with several professors to talk to them to see what I would major in.  Through one of them I found out about this program and realized that this fit better for me while I was working.  Online classes gave me the flexibility to complete lectures and assignments that fit into my schedule.  All of the professors were very accommodating and flexible.

What was your biggest challenge while completing this program?
The biggest challenge is to what I eluded to above that life doesn’t stop because you are taking classes.  Time management can get very hard, especially when you are very busy at work.  However, when it is all done it is worth all of the hardships.

Now what? Tell us how you are moving forward professionally now that you graduated!
Since I am currently in the position I wanted after I graduated, I will be staying in this role for a number of years.  Eventually I can see myself moving into a role outside of research and more into the business side.  This degree will hopefully make that transition easier.