Joshua Parsons

Cumming, Iowa
DuPont Pioneer

 Q. Tell us about your experience as an online learner within the Seed Technology and Business program.

This has been a very good experience for me so far. The flexibility of taking the classes online allows me to listen to lecture whenever it is convenient for me. I can eat lunch and do lecture at work or when I get home from work that evening while I’m relaxing. It has also been good to be able to get to know others who work in the seed industry from many different regions, companies and backgrounds. This networking has helped me create contacts and friendships that I would not have been able to make without this program.

Q. Why did you choose to pursue ISU’s Masters in Seed Technology and Business?

I had graduated with my undergraduate degree in 2005 and I knew I wanted to pursue a master’s degree someday, but I needed a break from school and decided to get into the workforce. After having been in the Seed Industry for some time I started looking around at different Masters Programs. Once I found the Seed Technology and Business program I felt that this degree fit my personal and professional growth needs perfectly. I felt this was strong degree for me to pursue due to the diversity of the business and science/agriculture aspects. No matter what area of the Seed industry I’m interested in this program covers it.

Q. What advice do you have for future online students thinking about applying to the program?

Don’t underestimate the degree of difficulty or the time the program will take. Just because the coursework is done online does not take anything away from it. The classes are challenging and take as much time as any other class which meets regularly in a classroom. With that being said don’t let the distance fool you into thinking your professors are aloof and difficult to communicate with. I have communicated with my professors much more as a graduate student in this program than I ever did as an undergraduate and I always get friendly and timely responses. The faculty is great and you should always reach out whenever you have a question about anything.

Q. What have you enjoyed most about the faculty you work with within this program?

The faculty is very diverse and has a great knowledge of a vast amount of topics. Learning from the experiences that the faculty has gained through the years has been a real benefit. It’s easy to learn when the professors can give real world examples about the topics we are learning about.

Q. Why was online learning the right choice for you?

As someone with a full time job with a house and a family I don’t think I would have time to commute to a University to pursue a graduate degree. I would have to choose between my current lifestyle or picking up and moving somewhere so I could be close enough to continue my education in the traditional way.  Online learning has allowed me to pursue my dream of getting a graduate degree without having to make the sacrifice of my current career or where I want to live.

Q. What are your future plans after finishing your masters degree?

I am very happy at DuPont Pioneer so I plan to continue to work for them. DuPont Pioneer is a very competitive company and many of my colleagues have graduate level degrees so I hope that after I finish this program I will be able to take that next step in my career. With the great assortment of business and seed science coursework I feel I will be very well situated to move up in my current area or in one of the many other areas the company has to offer.