Young Alum of the Month: Nicki Cortum

Nicki Cortum
Title and Company: 
Assistant Territory Sales Manager at John Deere Construction & Forestry
Norwalk, IA
Major and Graduation Date: 
Public Service and Administration in Agriculture, May 2010
Major Job/Position Responsibilities: 

As a Territory Sales Manager, I manage the relationship between John Deere and our dealer organization.  I work with a group of John Deere Construction & Forestry dealers to drive sustainable market share growth through business planning, inventory management, sales training and by providing leadership to the extended territory team that supports our dealers and customers.

What you like most about your job/position: 

The thing I enjoy most is that each day brings a new challenge.  Each dealer and customer is very different from the next, so no two days are ever the same.  When you take on those challenges, learn something new and ultimately help a customer, it’s very rewarding.  I’ve had the opportunity to visit many different customer operations and I enjoy seeing how our products make a difference in their business.  I also work with some really great people who make John Deere a great place to work!

What advice would you give to current students: 

Don’t let opportunities pass you by.  College is full of opportunities that you may not ever have again in your life, so take advantage of them all.

  • Study abroad.  This gives you an entirely different perspective and is a priceless experience to have while you are in college.
  • Get involved with student organizations.  Some of the most important things I learned in college came from leading student organizations. 
  • Use internships to help you decide what you want to do when you graduate, or maybe more importantly what you don’t want to do.  Also, the connections I made while interning opened a lot of doors for me and ultimately led me to my current position.
  • Take the time to figure out what truly makes you happy and don’t forget to enjoy yourself along the way!

Favorite ISU Class(es)

Agricultural Law

Agricultural Business, Production and Trade in Australia