Business Development Manager Michele Kaiser enjoys John Deere

Business Development Manager Michele Kaiser enjoys John Deere

 June 28, 2022

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Meet Michele Kaiser, Business Development Manager at John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group in Urbandale, Iowa. Curious, driven, and collaborative, Michele loves to learn and explore the world around her, and is always the person asking questions.

Navigating a circuitous career pathway 

John Deere Michele Kaiser

Michele's career path has been a rather circuitous one, but this has enabled her to work with some great teams, who she was able to learn and grow from.  

"I started in product engineering and then worked in subsequent roles such as engineering leadership, program management, quality leadership, operations leadership, and now in business development. While I didn’t design it that way, all those experiences have set me up well for my current role, which is a really fun intersection of business and technology," explains Michele. 

In her current role, Michele scouts for talent and technology solutions that can help unlock value for John Deere customers, and enable them to be more productive, sustainable, and profitable.

Thinking about what's possible in technology 

When asked what some key strengths are she regularly has to draw on in her role, Michele says: "Creativity – it’s fun to think about what’s possible in technology areas that aren’t yet developed and to keep trying new things, even if they don’t always work out. Resiliency – much of what I work on never actually comes to fruition, but that’s ok. There is also great success in shelving something if that’s the right and best decision for the company. Learning Agility – we all face change and uncertainty from time to time, and I use that as fuel to learn as much as I can and as fast as I can to contribute to the teams of which I’m a part.  

"I used to worry that I needed to know a lot about something before taking on a role, but now I realize that I can learn and grow my own knowledge base by asking those who are the subject-matter experts. That’s also a great way to make some new friends."

Working on challenging problems

Michele gets to lead the John Deere Startup Collaborator where the company handpicks a select group of companies to work with on challenging problems facing the industry.  

"The Startup Collaborator is a year-long program providing flexibility for John Deere and startup companies to test innovative technologies with customers and dealers without a formal business relationship," explains Michele.  

"Startups also gain affiliation with and mentoring from a world-class leader in technology for agricultural and construction equipment. The passion these startups have for solving really challenging problems is contagious, and it’s fun to see them grow and succeed as we work together. Feeding, clothing, and sheltering the world is going to take a lot of brilliant minds working together, and the startup collaborator is one small way we can work together with pioneers in the industry on tackling these challenges facing our world."

Seeing the positive impact of her work 

Michele enjoys working for John Deere because she believes in what the company is doing and can see the positive impact that John Deere has on its customers.  

"As an example, by helping farmers deal with labor challenges (Autonomous Tillage) and improving yields with fewer inputs (See & Spray), we can improve their economic bottom line while enabling them to sustainably grow more food to feed the growing world population. It’s impossible not to be excited about that as well as all the technology solutions yet to come. Plus, I get to work with some incredibly smart people!" comments Michele. 

Advocating for more women in the industry 

"Activities like this very article with Where Women Work are a great step," says Michele when asked about getting more women into the industry. "Talking about the various roles and opportunities so that people can consider where they might best like to apply their talents. I also believe strongly in mentoring and advocacy – we all need to be doing our part to help lift others up and get them into their dream roles. No matter where you are in an organization and what role you play, you can lift up and help others."

And what's Michele's advice for women looking to work with John Deere? "Take the leap!" she says.

"There really is something for everyone here and it’s fun to work with people from all over the world on technology solutions. Whether you’re in accounting, engineering, manufacturing, software development, human resources, or other areas of expertise, we need unique perspectives and voices.  

"Deere has enabled me to grow and develop, both personally and professionally – I’ve completed two advanced degrees, taken active roles in professional organizations, and led several volunteer efforts while working for John Deere, all while getting to do a really fun day job and work with some really fun, intelligent people across the globe," she concludes. 

Enjoying her downtime

When not working, Michele loves to travel, especially to some more remote corners of the world. "My favorites have been Grenada, Iceland, Scotland, Newfoundland, and Alaska. I also enjoy hiking, reading, cooking - I’m a test cook for America’s Test Kitchen - and riding my Peloton," shares Michele. 

Inspired to take on a new and purposeful role at John Deere? 

Life at John Deere sees its employees working in a collaborative environment, amongst diverse teams.

Want to embark on a new career with a diverse and inclusive employer?

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