Bailey is a student in the Department of Crop Sciences, and a transfer student to the University of Illinois from a community college. Bailey is a member of the Crop Sciences Student Ambassador Program. Read more about Bailey in the Q&A below!
Crop Sciences: Can you share your name and a little bit about yourself?
I am Bailey Wight, and I am from Bloomington, Illinois, and I am a junior in the Department of Crop Sciences with a Biological Sciences concentration. I grew up on a small farm where we grew forages, and I showed horses. I am a transfer student from a community college, so this is my first year here.
Crop Sciences: Why did you pick the Department of Crop Sciences as your program of study?
In high school I was involved in FFA and 4-H, which helped me decide on what I wanted to do through school. I participated in various competitions to see what I was truly interested in. Growing hay and being around the agriculture industry made me realize my passion for this industry. I was always interested in how plants worked and how plants have such a big impact on everyone's lives, whether people realize it or not.
Crop Sciences: What is your favorite part of being a student in Crop Sciences?
One thing that I really enjoy about being in the Crop science department is the endless opportunities that are available for students. There are endless internship opportunities and classes that can interest anyone in Crop Science. Classes are generally smaller, allowing you to make those personal connections with other students and the teachers. Everyone is very helpful when you need something, which makes it a very welcoming atmosphere.
Crop Sciences: What do you do outside of the classroom for fun or professional development?
Outside of the classroom, I have an internship that I will be starting on the first of February with BASF at a Research Farm. I have also had various internships with different companies to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible. It is important to take the opportunities that are offered to you.
Crop Sciences: What do you hope to do after you graduate?
After I graduate, I plan to work on a research farm and eventually get into a breeding program. I haven't decided whether I will earn a master's degree right after school or work and then go back to school.
Crop Sciences: What is one thing that you want people to know about Crop Sciences, the College of ACES, or the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
One thing that is important to why I choose the University of Illinois is that there are so many opportunities to do research and network. I think it is critical to utilize the opportunities the university provides. The ability to build a networking-relationship even during these times is super important for the future.
Crop Sciences: What was the transfer process like for you?
When I was first looking at which colleges I wanted to look at, I worked with my counselor at my community college to create a plan of what classes would transfer correctly. I used the transfer pages a lot to make sure that the classes I was taking would transfer into useful credits for my major. Honestly, at first, I wasn't dead set on the University of Illinois as I was looking at other options to see what would best suit me. However, the University of Illinois had the most opportunity for my credits to transfer, so that really helped me make a decision. I was set on the University of Illinois when I came to visit for the first time and met an advisor in the crop science department. They were very welcoming, and it made me feel comfortable having a conversation with them. That was important to me because going from such a small school where everyone knows everyone to a bigger school made the transfer choice a lot easier!
Crop Sciences: Many students currently attending a smaller college institution, such as community college, often worry about the size of classes and the larger campus that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers. What’s something you’d tell students with similar concerns?
I was definitely worried about the larger class sizes and not being able to build a relationship with my teachers or other students since I didn't really know what to expect the first semester I was here, but I was very surprised. The classes that I have been in so far are structured so that you can be in smaller groups of students and have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with teachers. For me, this is a very important part of how I learn, by talking through things with others. With that being said, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't be worried about the larger class sizes, because they have structure and the availability to ask questions without feeling overwhelmed by class size.
Crop Sciences: What’s something that I haven’t asked that you’d tell students that are considering transferring to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
I would say to any transfer student to visit the colleges that interest you and talk with a counselor there. To think of a plan before you decide to know what it will look like in the future if you choose to attend there. It is very important to see where your classes will be and the environment of that department you plan to be in; this will help you transition into a university because you will feel comfortable and confident in your decision.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Undergraduate Programs in Crop Sciences, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re interested in scheduling a time to talk with a Crop Sciences representative, sign up here.