Employing UNI's Skilled Graduates

Jack O'Brien, UNI Graduate Student In honor of John Deere’s 100 years in the Cedar Valley, UNI recognizes its unique relationship with John Deere. As the largest private employer of UNI alumni, it is clear John Deere values the skills UNI students take with them when they graduate.

The relationship often begins prior to graduation – internships and part-time employment through the company provide students a real-world education while in school.

That has been the case for Jack O’Brien ‘18, a masters of accounting student. Through three different work experiences with John Deere he has gained a unique set of skills heading into the job market.

“When I applied for my first job at John Deere, I was excited at the possibility of having a job in college that could lead to a full-time opportunity after graduation,” O’Brien said. “And once I started, I knew I could see myself working at John Deere in the long-term.”

O’Brien started as a part-time employee at John Deere Waterloo Operations in 2016 and has since had two subsequent internships at John Deere World Headquarters in Moline, IL. His current internship is a position in the IT Finance group facilitating communication between the finance organization and the technical team in IT in order to assess financial reporting systems.

The experience can be challenging, he says, but he’s learning a lot.

“In all three of my work experiences at John Deere, I have been treated like a full-time employee, with much of the same benefits, flexibility, responsibility and independence of full-time employees,” O’Brien said.

John Deere’s recruitment relationship through part-time and internship experiences for students spans many UNI programs in the Department of Technology, College of Business Administration and other areas.

Laura Wilson, assistant director of UNI Career Services, said UNI’s recruitment relationship with John Deere is strong. She pointed to data indicating that in 2017-18, total students reporting part-time employment with John Deere rose to its highest point in four years.

“UNI is fortunate to have such a great connection with a leader in the Cedar Valley,” she said. “At Career Services, we’ve worked with so many UNI students who have benefited from employment experiences with John Deere.”

Jack O’Brien ‘18
UNI Graduate Student