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Alexander King ’15 rides the wave of his international agriculture training to a promising career abroad
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Alexander King '15

Agriculture's role as a mobilizer in emerging markets was a core theme of my undergraduate studies in International Agriculture and Rural Development (IARD). Understanding this concept allowed me not only to engage more deeply with my work but gave me a critical understanding of how agricultural markets play out across economic, social and environmental areas. IARD’s undergraduate program provided active and engaging international experiences on- and off-campus, both of which helped prepare me for my career moves abroad.

I am now based in Zambia as the chief of staff of FirstWave Group, a pan-African aquaculture firm specializing in large-scale tilapia production. Prior to that, I worked in Mumbai as both a consultant in the Mahindra Group Strategy Office and as an export manager for Mahindra's agribusiness vertical. In January, I will be moving to start up the FirstWave Uganda operations as a data and analytics manager.

If I could give current students some IARD course recommendations it would be: Food Policy for Developing Nations (with Dr. Prabhu Pingali––my thesis advisor!) and Contemporary Controversies in the Global Economy (with Dr. Chris Barrett). Those both really stand out in my memory and complemented my work with the Cornell Social Business Consulting Group. I encourage all IARD students to take classes that give them hard skills in the field that they are pushing to enter––the combination of technical skills with the agricultural and emerging market subject focus is powerful.

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