Post 2: Where Are They Now? A Q&A Series With WIA Scholarship Recipients
By Michelle Pelletier Marshall, Women in Agribusiness Media (February 22, 2022)
Spotlight on Stefanie Bailey
Today in our “Where Are They Now” series, which highlights scholarship attendees from past Women in Agribusiness (WIA) Summits, we spoke to Stefanie Bailey, who attended the 2019 Summit in Minneapolis. At that time, Bailey was a graduate student at Duke University studying water resource management and business administration.
Bailey was one of over 150 students over 8 years, from college freshmen to master’s degree finalists, to have benefited from the WIA Scholarship Program, which sees our gracious sponsors defraying the cost of attending the Summit. Their generosity helps students make connections and forge partnerships in the business world, as well as learn about the latest issues and trends in the food and ag sector.
If you are a WIA student scholarship beneficiary or know of one who’d like to share her story, please reach out to Michelle Pelletier Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to feature you here as well! For more information or to be considered for a scholarship, contact Carrie Vita at email@example.com or visit womeninag.com/initiatives.
We asked Bailey our standard three questions for this series:
1). Please tell us more about the Women in Agribusiness Summit you attended, and how you came to learn about it and get involved in the organization. I attended the 2019 Summit. Women in Agribusiness was quite strong where I lived at the time, Raleigh N.C., so I heard about it from a colleague. I attended quite a few in-person WIA Meetups and really enjoyed the virtual Meetups they had last year via Zoom. While at a meetup someone mentioned the annual summit. I checked it out on their website and knew I wanted to attend. It was such a great experience that when they went to virtual meetups, I made sure to attend as many as possible.
2). What connections did you make from that participation, and how did it help shape your career goals and path? The great thing about the Summit is everyone’s desire to connect and share their experiences. I took full advantage by sitting at a table with people I didn’t know or walking up to an unknown group during a cocktail event. Everyone was genuinely glad I did and cheerfully asked about my career goals and told me about their roles and organizations.
The connections allowed me to learn more about different paths in agribusiness while I was still exploring it as a student. Not only did the women talk to me about their experience, they were also more than happy to make introductions to people in their network. I have reached into that network in my current role to help my clients learn more about agribusiness in the United States and to find experts in different sectors.
3). What is the top skill or benefit you walked away with from the Summit? The Summit is all about networking and understanding the value you bring to the field as a woman.
It is great to be with confident women who worked hard to get where they are today and want to find ways to bring more women into the field. Sometimes impostor syndrome can sneak into your minds when you’re the minority, but remembering how these women are thinking about how to build agribusiness better for women and everyone reminds me why I love this industry.
ABOUT STEFANIE BAILEY
Stefanie Bailey is an international business growth manager for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise where she works with executives of New Zealand agribusinesses entering and expanding in the United States. She specializes in systems thinking to discover the ideal customer and value proposition for the product, creating KPIs for the optimal result and using digital tools to measure success. Her portfolio ranges from livestock, dairy, produce software, and greenhouse companies. Prior to her move to agribusiness, Bailey co-founded an LED lighting design and consulting company and oversaw its operation for more than 10 years. Reach out to Bailey on LinkedIn.