Young Alum of the Month: Drew Dickson

Drew Dickson
Title and Company: 
Strategic Marketing Analyst, Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health, Des Moines, IA
Gilbert, IA
Major and Graduation Date: 
BS, Microbiology 2008; Masters of Business Administration 2011
Major Job/Position Responsibilities: 

I support technical service, marketing, and R&D by working on a variety of market research initiatives, benchmarking, demand forecasting, and economic analysis projects.

What you like most about your job/position: 

My favorite part about my job is that I get to work on a large variety of projects that cross multiple divisions within the company.  On any given day I might get to work with marketing, finance, R&D, operations, sales, or technical services.  The projects that I support involve products that then go into the dairy, beef, poultry, and swine industries.  I really enjoy being able to utilize both my science and business backgrounds every day to help the company meet its goals.  Also, Kemin is a global company so being able to meet with and discuss projects with colleagues on the other side of the world is a very cool experience.

What advice would you give to current students: 
  • Get to know your advisors and your professors.  Don’t be afraid to ask them questions.  These people are incredible resources of information and you might be surprised at how well connected they are in the industry.
  • Take advantage of the internship opportunities that ISU has to offer.  The more that you can learn about the industry and what it is that you enjoy before graduation the better off you will be.  Don’t wait until your senior year; there are no rules that freshman can’t get internships.
  • Don’t be afraid to take a course that doesn’t directly relate to your major.  You will never have a better chance to learn and explore so many different topics.
  • Build relationships with your classmates.  Not only will this help you in school but also your professional career.  Many of them will go off and work in the same industry as you and might someday end up being your customer or co-worker.
  • Find a mentor.  Whether it is an advisor, faculty member, or industry professional. It is important to have people that you can call upon when you’re in need of guidance.

Favorite ISU class(es)
Micro 302L or any lab with Rob Hubert