For Shay Pond, a fourth-year majoring in agricultural systems management (ASM) with minors in agribusiness and nonprofit management, creating a positive generational change is a dream of his. Pond is interested in exploring ways to address food and financial security issues for lower income families in hopes to start a nonprofit organization.
Pond first got interested in food and financial security during a prompt for a project in his professional development class, where he researched and learned how critical the issue of food security is. His inspiration on the financial side stemmed from his own experiences and author Dave Ramsey.
Although Pond’s career interests in food and financial security may not be a common path for ASM students, he has been able to find courses in the major curriculum and electives centered on his passion.
“I was attracted to the diversity of skills ASM offered as part of their curriculum and ability to craft your own educational goals within the program,” he said.
As a first-generation college student from northwest Ohio, Pond’s first introduction to the ASM program at Ohio State was through Ohio FFA. During a career development event featuring the agricultural education and ASM programs, he discovered the opportunity to learn a broad variety of skills while majoring in ASM.
With a variety of interests and experiences, Pond has been able to network, make connections and learn how leadership looks different in various industries. Experiences such as working in a professional moving industry, ministry as a youth ministry intern, working at a seed production facility and a food production company are just the few places that have equipped him with these skills.
Pond has also found time to gain valuable skills through involvement on campus, such as serving as an Ambassador for the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). He is currently a co-chair of the team for the Fall 2020 semester.
The CFAES Ambassador team is a team of students that give prospective students an overview and tour of campus, share their personal experiences and answer questions these future buckeyes may have. The ambassador team are liaisons to the Ohio State student body in order to expand awareness of CFAES.
“I’ve gained an appreciation for the diversity of experiences and diversity of backgrounds students bring to Ohio State. We really have such a diverse and expanse body of students as the cornerstone college of Ohio State,” Pond said. “I’ve met a lot of great people being on the team including so many faculty and administrators here at Ohio State. I even had the opportunity to speak with Governor DeWine at an event last fall working for the CFAES Ambassador team.”
Along with being an ambassador and serving as co-chair, he is also a small group leader on the north side of campus for Cru, a Christian student organization at Ohio State. Cru has given Pond the opportunity to build friendship and community here at Ohio State and the chance to travel missionary to Brazil in 2019.
Pond believes that by finding an area you are truly passionate about and pursing it honestly and wholeheartedly, you cannot go wrong in life. His advice to other students who struggle with career choices is to find a problem you’re passionate about and center your education around that problem to best help you in solving it. Pond poses the questions ‘What drives you? What gets you out of bed in the morning?’
Pond is currently pursuing an internship for next summer and focusing on his post-graduation plans shortly after. He is on track to graduation in December 2021, where afterwards he hopes to obtain a job in industry and later begin attending seminary part-time.
by Evahana Cruz