Natalie Te Grootenhuis ’16
Communications outreach manager, Iowa Corn, Johnston, Iowa
Natalie Te Grootenhuis

Supporting farmers

Natalie’s professors encouraged her to combine her love of agricultural business, marketing and sports when deciding on a major and thinking about a career. An internship prior to her senior year led to a job in which she uses events, social media and publications to promote Iowa farmers and Iowa corn.

What kind of an education did you get at Northwestern?

Northwestern provided me with a well-rounded Christian education. I gained experiences I wouldn’t have had at a state school—like serving as the women’s basketball team manager and participating in deep theological debates in my Christian Story classes. My professors pushed me to become an independent thinker and challenged me to work on teams. They truly cared about me and took the time to make sure I was succeeding in the classroom. God also used Northwestern to build my faith in many different ways, whether it was through Praise & Worship on Sunday night or the friends who helped me find God each day.

How did you decide on your college major?

I majored in business administration with an emphasis in agricultural business, marketing and sport management. When I first came to Northwestern, I knew I wanted to study agricultural business, but after taking the intro-level marketing class, I learned I had a real passion for that as well. My professors helped me see what great potential there was for a career path that combined both those interests.

What does your career involve?

I work for the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board in the communications department. My job is to handle consumer-facing promotions. I manage everything from all of our social media accounts to working on sport marketing events such as the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk series. I also work with our district field managers to create ads, flyers and brochures for farmer-facing events and promotions in order to increase awareness of Iowa Corn and to get farmers to join the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

How did you become interested in your line of work?

I grew up on a farm and was always passionate about farming and sharing the farmer’s story. I interned at Iowa Corn going into my senior year at Northwestern and fell in love with working for farmers and sharing the story of Iowa Corn. I was also excited that I got to combine my passion for farming with my love for sports in a job right out of college. That isn’t something I expected to happen at such a young age.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I love getting to know farmers from across the state. Many of my favorite days at work involve driving to a small town in Iowa and letting our farmers show me what their farms and farming operations are like. The passion they have for their work is contagious and something I wish all consumers could see.

How did Northwestern prepare you for life after college?

One of the biggest experiences that shaped me in college and continues to play a huge part in my life today was working as the women’s basketball manager for my on-campus job. That role taught me so much about how to manage people, and it helped me become more organized in my day-to-day life. I also met many amazing women who continue to be some of my best friends today.