Courtney White didn’t have the chance to join FFA during high school, but after discovering the organization as an adult in the workforce, he was determined to find a way to be part of it. As a result, White recently became a lifetime member of National FFA Alumni and Supporters, an opportunity he’s excited to dive into as he continues to serve as the head of human resources for BASF Agricultural Solutions North America.
Q: What made you decide to become an FFA Alumni Life Member?
A: During my time working in agriculture, which has been about 10 years, I have been fortunate to work with some of the most dynamic, inspirational and motivational people I’ve ever met, and almost all of them have one important thing in common: legacy FFA membership. From the moment I realized this, I, too, needed that blue jacket.
Q: As a human resources director in the ag sector, what would you say are some of the advantages FFA members have in a career hunt?
A: FFA is such a strong brand; simply being a member provides you with preferential status. Also, most people know FFA is synonymous with leadership, and in my experience, FFA members are well-rounded with excellent core skills in areas such as communications, collaboration and critical thinking. The fact that young people see the value in FFA speaks volumes about their character.
Q: How would you recommend someone prepare for his or her first job interview?
A: Research the organization prior to your interview and be sure to understand its values as well as how its values correlate to your personal values. Additionally, be your authentic, true self, and don’t be afraid to share your superpowers; no masks required.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would offer to someone in high school or college?
A: Instead of acquiescing to the pressure to fit in, embrace all of the capabilities that make you stand out. Those are the things that will get you noticed and make you invaluable in the workforce.
Q: What’s one book you think every FFA member should read and why?
A: Major in Success: Make College Easier, Fire Up Your Dreams, and Get a Great Job by Patrick Combs. This book is perfect for anyone looking for advice on determining a major and reaching his or her career goals. It’s packed with inspiration for tackling your fears and doubts.