After graduating with her undergraduate degree in Agricultural Education and Communication in December 2021, Reilly Brooks knew that a master’s degree would be in her near future.
While not sure originally what field in the agricultural industry she wanted to focus on, Brooks said that the interesting curriculum of the MAB program drove her to apply. Now, she is successfully graduating this semester as a double gator with her Master of Agribusiness degree.
In addition to finding the coursework interesting, Brooks said it is also directly relevant to her current work.
“Agribusiness Financial Management taught by Dr. Farnsworth was the course that helped me the most with my career,” Brooks said. “Within this course, I learned key points about financial and investment frameworks and how they apply to the agriculture industry.”
While completing the MAB program, Brooks also began a full-time job as a customer service representative at AgriStarts. AgriStarts is a wholesale tissue culture lab and greenhouse located in Apopka, FL.
“I have taken what I have learned, especially marketing and management through sales, and applied it directly to my work,” Brooks said.
Already, she has begun to advance in her career within AgriStarts, moving quickly on from her original role to become a sales representative for the company selling their starter plants to both international and domestic customers. Brooks was also able to utilize her experiences in this new role to complete the capstone requirement of her MAB program.
“I was originally hired as a customer service representative and had the opportunity to advance within the company while also completing my capstone requirement,” Brooks said. “From this project, I gained a new perspective on career paths that I would be interested in and the importance of relationship building with coworkers and customers.”
Looking back on her time in the program, Brooks remembers fondly the high level of student and faculty collaboration which she said contributed greatly to her experience.
“The faculty and fellow students added so much to the quality of the education I received from the program,” Brooks said. “Everyone within the program has been extremely helpful and I felt like I could reach out to any fellow student within my classes and work collectively as a team with them even from a distance. All of the faculty from professors to advisors to mentors were there for all students, ready to help and assist with any questions I had.”
As she looks to the future, Brooks had this advice for current and future Master of Agribusiness Students:
“I would encourage them to feel comfortable reaching out to the professors at any time, but especially when there is a part of the curriculum they are having difficulty with,” Brooks said. “I was able to contact several different professors about assignments or questions I had, and they would respond very quickly and meet with me when I was available to discuss concerns I had. Every professor in the MAB program is truly there to make sure you succeed.”