Adding an international component to job shadowing is a new twist on a tried-and-true way to learn. The new addition to the IFYE Association of the USA, Inc. (formerly International Farm Youth Exchange) program adds the opportunity not only to live with a host family, but to job shadow professionally with a member of the family as well.
A pilot program implemented by global agri-business leader Syngenta recently ended a successful exchange with Lisa Schmid, an IFYE from Germany. She job shadowed and lived with three Syngenta professionals who work at the company’s Minnetonka, Minnesota, location.
“I was able to learn about other aspects of agriculture while with my Syngenta hosts. It was an amazing adventure that I’ll always remember,” said Schmid.
It was also a worthwhile experience for Syngenta. “I hoped to pilot the program in a way that we can replicate, so we can start thinking differently about introducing Syngenta opportunities to youth earlier—before they make major career-related decisions,” said Jenny Heaton, head of people and organization development, North America and Global Seeds, Syngenta.
The next step for Syngenta and IFYE is to implement the opportunity for U.S. IFYEs to job shadow in other countries where Syngenta has major operations. “We look forward to growing this relationship and working with Syngenta to offer our participants new experiences that continue to add value to the exchange program,” said Ken Gordon, executive director, IFYE.