Hannah Corey - Alumni Spotlight
Hannah Corey, ('18 agronomy and entrepreneurial studies minor) believes that there are many paths to success. Although her career path after graduation wasn't traditional, she has stayed true to her roots, remaining deeply involved in the agriculture industry. Today, as chief of staff at Performance Livestock Analytics (PLA), Corey encourages students to "keep your eyes and mind open to opportunities outside of your comfort zone."
Growing up on a family farm, a diversified grain and livestock operation in northwest Iowa, Corey developed a strong passion for agriculture. Iowa State University proved to be the perfect fit to foster this passion. "My parents are both ISU alumni, and I knew I wanted to study agronomy. Iowa State has a very strong agronomy program, so it was an easy choice!" she exclaims. Corey majored in agronomy and minored in entrepreneurial studies, taking classes such as: Entrepreneurship in Agriculture (ECON 334), Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MGMT 310), and Feasibility Analysis and Business Planning (MGMT 313). These classes provided her with an entrepreneurial framework for her future career.
In addition to her classwork, Corey stayed busy as a Cyclone, participating in the Soil and Water Conservation Club, CALS Ambassadors, and the Iowa State Soils Judging Team. She was also involved with Start Something College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) through her entrepreneurial studies minor and the Semester, Inc. internship program. "I had several fantastic internship opportunities during my time at ISU. My final internship was with Performance Livestock Analytics, a livestock software program, which I obtained through the Start Something CALS Semester, Inc. internship program." she explains. Corey's dad used PLA's Performance Beef platform on their farm and was amazed at what the software could accomplish. "Dad was so excited about what Performance Beef could do for his operation that I knew I had to get involved," she relates. Instructor Kevin Kimle connected Corey with Performance Livestock Analytics co-founders, Dustin Balsley and Dane Kuper, who hired her for an internship during her final semester.
Although Corey had a great experience with Performance Livestock Analytics, she felt the need to put her agronomy degree to good use. Securing both agronomy and sales internships at other major corporations provided Corey with additional valuable experience. "After completing my internships, I decided that I wanted a career that brought together my interests in agronomy and entrepreneurship," she elaborates.
After graduation in December, Corey took a job as a research agronomist. Although this job aligned with her major, it failed to align with her true interests. "After a very short time as an agronomist, the opportunities that PLA offered won me over. I couldn't ignore the chance to be part of a company that is truly changing the livestock industry," she exclaims. Corey returned to Performance Livestock Analytics in March to embark on her current position as chief of staff.
Professors at Iowa State were another driving force behind her decision to change careers. "Iowa State does a great job of hiring real entrepreneurs to teach classes!" Corey explains. Her professors taught in a way that was immediately applicable to the real world and their lessons made her excited about entrepreneurial businesses. "My heart will always be in agriculture, and I learned that there are more ways to be involved in the industry than being actual boots on the ground," she continues.
Corey is truly enjoying her new role. As chief of staff, her job is to do "everything else" and keep the wheels turning so that her coworkers can focus on both the customers and future direction of the company. "My favorite part of the job is the people and the culture. Everyone here is dedicated to working towards the common goal of providing technology to the livestock industry. We work hard, but are intentional about having fun along the way," she exclaims. This work atmosphere makes for a healthy and energizing work environment for the 37 employees at Performance Livestock Analytics.
If you are looking for an engaging and practical internship during the semester or upcoming summer, Corey encourages you to consider Performance Livestock Analytics. "We have a strong track record of turning quality interns into full-time employees," she informs. And who knows, perhaps this internship will lead you to embark on a new adventure as well!