Two Years Later: Where B. Pratyusha Chennupati Is Today Following the AdvancingAg Future Leaders Program
by B. Pratyusha Chennupati
Having former politician Ted Menzies as a mentor both inspired and gave B. Pratyusha Chennupati the confidence to have ambitious career goals and dream big.
Chennupati is an alumna of the AdvancingAg Future Leaders Program and participated in its 2018-2019 year, connecting with Menzies each Saturday. And even though the formal mentorship has ended, Chennupati and Menzies continue to communicate.
“Following the program, we still email,” says Chennupati. “I’ll share an interesting article if I think he would be interested in reading, and he is doing the same with me.”
As well as having had thoughtful conversations on the pros and cons of new agricultural policies, brainstorming career routes and discussing politics, Menzie’s mentorship opened up numerous doors for Chennupati.
“One of the things I realized when having Ted as a mentor is that the world is such a small place. He has connections all around the world… and he was more than happy to leverage his contacts,” says Chennupati.
In addition to gaining professional connections, Chennupati says the mentorship has shaped how she thinks about industry challenges.
“Ted would say, ‘If there’s something you don’t like, why are you not questioning or challenging it?’” says Chennupati. “We always think the government has to do everything. But you have to give it your own thinking and bring it up to their attention. Ted validated for me [the idea that] if you want to see a change, you have to be in the process of making that change.”
That is the main reason Chennupati applied to sit on the Canadian Agriculture Youth Council in 2020; she was selected for one of the 25 volunteer roles out of hundreds of applicants. Additionally, Chennupati works with a start-up company, Heliae, as a regulatory affairs manager.
Looking back, Chennupati says the AdvancingAg program and her mentorship with Menzies made the agriculture industry feel like a close-knit family. That’s something that led to more opportunities than Chennupati imagined possible.
And looking forward, she plans to keep Menzies’ advice in mind and keep aiming high.
“Whatever the next challenge is coming towards me, I’m more than open to take it, embrace it and go from there!”