SAU student hones business skills at Dow internship

Staff report

LAURINBURG — Junior Leandro Custodio, a business major, had four offers when choosing a university, but decided, after meeting faculty and coaches, to attend St. Andrews.

Being a native of Campinas, Brazil, Custodio was in search of a foreign country where he coulde “develop, meet diverse people and learn a new language.”

Having mastered English fluency and recently completed a summer internship at internationally recognized company Dow Chemical, Custodio is accomplishing his goals.

While at Dow, Custodio worked in the Agri-Science division. Since the 1950s, Dow’s agricultural business has been discovering, developing and bringing sustainable solutions to market for the growing world through efforts to help farmers increase their crop productivity through higher yields, better varieties, and targeted weed, insect, and disease control. Their products and services balance the needs of boosting agricultural productivity while preserving the environment.

Working with six departments, Custodio was tasked with creating a strategic deployment plan to consolidate information from the areas of soybean and corn platforms. His first step was to talk with each department — marketing, sales, operations, regulatory, finance, and research and development — to set a plan. Plans included departmental goals, budgets and marketing efforts. After coordinating and getting approval for the plans, he presented them to each department. The last step was the implementation of the plans, which would cover the next two quarters.

Custodio received a lot of guidance from his co-workers at Dow, but he too relied on much of what he had learned from his business classes at St. Andrews.

“My education surpassed my expectations in helping me succeed at a company like Dow,” said Custodio.

The second project for Custodio was working with the sales department in developing a franchising territorial improvement plan. This plan created a statistical base which could be used to determine the potential of franchising a territory. Prior to the development of this grading system, Custodio said “it was like going where the wind blows.”

Having a statistical base eliminates the guesswork and allows for a measurable means of choosing a franchising territory where seeds could be sold.

Thinking about his future, Custodio knows he developed a good network during his internship. He enjoyed “being around people that passed knowledge every day.” Custodio is already planning another internship with Dow next summer.

In addition to advancing in academics, Custodio is also advancing on the field as goalkeeper on the men’s soccer team. He was recently named the Appalachian Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

Staff report

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