Accomplishing Goals

Kori Sakahashi
STB 2020 Graduate

Upon completing his Seed Technology & Business master’s degree at Iowa State University, Kori explains that gaining the knowledge and a deeper understanding of the seed business has increased his confidence in making critical decisions in his current role as Production Lead and helped him become a more agile team member at Syngenta.

Why did you choose the field of agriculture/agronomy?

Early in my college education I didn’t anticipated myself having a career in agriculture.  As I worked towards my undergraduate degree, I became intrigued with the studies of genetics and plant physiology.  My interests led me to learning about the impact of harnessing plant genetics for the benefit of mankind.  From there it took me down the path towards the seed industry and how Hawaii played a major role in the seed production process (this was when I lived in Hawaii).

Tell us your experience being an online learner in the STB program.

The STB program is well developed to help students who are looking to increase their knowledge in the seed industry.  They have carefully selected subjects that are essential for employees working in the seed industry looking to expand their knowledge.   Having classes online gave me the flexibility to complete lectures and assignments while maintaining a full-time job.  At first, I had concerns with the program being completely online; being that it had been nearly 4 years since I graduated college.  I hesitated whether I would be able to adapt to online learning and questioned how effective it would be for me.  However, professors were well organized on the Canvas platform, and were prompt with returning answers to questions.  The online program met all my expectation as if I were in a classroom environment.

“The balanced courses offered enable students to gain a holistic view of the seed industry; giving individuals the knowledge and skills necessary to drive the industry forward.” — Kori Sakahashi, STB Master’s Graduate

Did the STB program help you professionally? Did you receive any kind of increase in responsibility, promotion, etc.?

So far I don’t know for sure if obtaining my STB degree directly increased my responsibilities in my current role, but it has increased my knowledge of other operations at our site and a business as a whole.  Gaining the knowledge and a deeper understanding of the business has increased my confidence in making critical decisions in my current role and helped me become a more agile team member at our site.

Would you recommend this program to other students in the seed industry?

I would recommend this program to individuals who are looking to expand their knowledge in the seed industry.  The STB course is well balanced to help individuals not only grow technical skills, but also gives the individual a holistic view of the industry.  One regret that I have about doing this program is not starting it sooner.

What has been the greatest part of finishing the STB course work?

The greatest part of finishing the STB course has been gaining the confidence that I can accomplish my goals and ambitions if I am willing to put my mind to it.

What else would you like to share with us about the STB program?

The one thing that I must commend the STB faculty on is their consistent drive to improve the program.  After every semester faculty members look for feedback on the courses being taught to determine how well the course was delivered and if there can be any improvements whether it is on the course delivery or on the subject matter.  I feel this is a great attribute that should be continued to help future STB students prepare for leading this industry.  I would not doubt that the material and courses delivered 10 years from now will be different than those that I took.

By completing the STB program, Kori gained confidence in accomplishing his goals and ambitions. When you become a #seedleader like Kori, anything is possible!

Become a #seedleader today!