New Skills and New Opportunities: What David Pinzon Gained from Participating in the AdvancingAg Future Leaders Program
by David Pinzon
Going through the AdvancingAg Future Leaders Program provided Dr. David Pinzon with a new way of looking at his career and a new perspective on how to advance within it.
Dr. Pinzon, an alumnus of the program’s 2019-2020 year, was paired with Ben Graham, CEO of the agriculture advertising firm AdFarm. Dr. Pinzon, who works as a regulatory affairs manager at Corteva Agriscience and is a scientist by training, found that being paired with a professional who works outside of the scientific realm was a boost to his career and to his confidence.
“Ben encouraged me [in a way] that was probably different from how I would have been encouraged by a mentor within Corteva,” says Dr. Pinzon.
That’s a key reason Dr. Pinzon still tries to connect with Graham, even though their formal mentorship has ended.
“I worked with Ben on an agriculture magazine-type article, talking about the requirements to register a pesticide. Even though I had no experience writing this type of document, Ben paired me with a scientific writer to get to the ideal article” says Dr. Pinzon. “He helped me to draft the article and to put it together. I let him know I’m going to publish it in a pest management magazine.”
Graham’s mentorship also encouraged Dr. Pinzon to take new risks — risks he hadn’t anticipating ever taking before entering the AdvancingAg Future Leaders Program.
“I would have never imagined doing this beforehand, but I was a judge for the 2019 CAMA (Canadian Agri-Marketing Association) Awards,” says Dr. Pinzon, explaining that he had the confidence to nominate himself and try something new. “Even though I don’t use advertising [day to day], I do like to communicate with the public.”
Dr. Pinzon likes the work he’s doing currently at Corteva Agriscience, and looking forward, hopes to use the new leadership skills he’s learned to give back to others.
“I also want to be a mentor,” says Dr. Pinzon. “It would be nice to pair with someone that shares what I enjoy and then I can really teach them some things.”