Meet the recruit, times three: Katie Atkins

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 11:00am

The Global Food Challenge and a Land O’Lakes summer internship helped U of M student Katie Atkins find her passion. After she graduates next spring, Atkins looks forward to joining Land O’Lakes again, in a full-time position. Meet Katie Atkins:

“What excites me the most is Land O’Lakes’ limitless potential and willingness to tackle the world’s biggest challenges.”

Q: How did you get connected with Land O'Lakes? In the fall of my sophomore year at the Carlson School of Management, I attended two unrelated courses in which Land O’Lakes representatives were invited to connect our in-class learning with real-world applications. While each presentation was unique, both highlighted the company’s commitment to food security by sharing a campaign video about the Global Food Challenge.

I remember walking out of class and immediately sending my dad a text with a link saying, “This sounds cool. I kind of want to apply.” The rest is history.

Q: Why Land O'Lakes? Initially, it was because of my interest in agribusiness. While I had almost no direct connection to farming growing up, there was something about the humble honesty of the industry that I felt an innate passion for. As I began the application process for the Global Food Challenge and I learned more about Land O’Lakes—its family-like culture, with co-op roots—I knew I had made the right decision.

Q: Can you tell us more? After spending a summer combining in-depth research and hands-on experiences in Tanzania, South Africa, Washington D.C. and rural Kansas, I worked with a team to develop a practical proposal to attract, engage and educate young people about sustainable agriculture.

In summer 2018, I chose to return to an internship in Information Technology because of the promise behind combining my degree with my passion. I am excited to bring that experience back to school this fall.

Even more exciting is the fact that I recently accepted a full-time offer to return to Land O’Lakes post-graduation.

“When you feel a passion for something and are surrounded by people who share that passion and want you to succeed, it’s a powerful combination.”

Q: How has the Land O’Lakes-U of M partnership impacted you? It provided me an opportunity to combine a world-class education with a world-class company. I’ve learned that when you feel a passion for something and are surrounded by people who share that passion and want you to succeed, it’s a powerful combination. I am grateful to have experienced that in my first exposure to the corporate world, and that might not have been the case had it not been for this partnership.

Q: What excites you about working with Land O'Lakes? The company’s limitless potential and willingness to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. In a world where 9 billion people will consume 70 percent more food by 2050, our current methods of production will not suffice. We must utilize new technologies in order to produce more food with fewer resources. Land O’Lakes understands this and is committed to it.

"I am so proud to be part of a company and culture in which everyone collectively rolls up their sleeves and works hard for their member-owners, in good times and tough times."

Photo: Katie Atkins