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Poole College Advisory Board Spotlight: Tim Merrett

By: Caroline Barnhill

For many years, NC State’s roots as a land grant university have made the university a natural partner for John Deere, manufacturer of agricultural, construction and forestry machinery. While John Deere has had strong connections with the university’s agricultural and engineering programs, over the last decade, it’s also deepened its partnership with the Poole College of Management.

Much of that connection developed once Tim Merrett, vice president of John Deere’s turf and utility business unit, joined the Poole College Advisory Board in 2011. Merrett, who is originally from Canada, has spent nearly 30 years with John Deere in various roles. Shortly after moving to North Carolina in 2009, he learned more about John Deere’s partnership with the university.

“For years, the company has worked closely with the College of Engineering and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The John Deere Foundation gives back financially to support various programs across the university, and we recruit a lot of NC State students, as well,” Merrett explains.

During his time on Poole College’s Advisory Board, he’s witnessed the college make strategic moves to better support industry needs – something he believes sets the college apart from other business schools across the country.

“Poole College of Management is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the interdisciplinary studies available within the university. It’s great to see students working on projects around data analytics or supply chain management and collaborating with students from engineering or technical backgrounds,” he says. “It helps those students stand out when it comes time to transition into their careers.”

Merrett’s professional experience provides the Poole College Advisory Board with valuable insight into what Fortune 100 companies, like John Deere, are looking for in prospective hires. Not only that, but he also serves on the board’s industry task force, where he is passionate about helping the college determine the most effective ways to partner with industry to support both businesses and the college. 

In addition to its industry partnerships and interdisciplinary studies, Merrett points out that the college’s location – in the heart of the Triangle – also helps it stand apart from peer institutions.

“Raleigh is one of the fastest-growing areas for technology and talent, which provides our graduates with excellent career opportunities,” Merrett says. “I’m continually impressed with Poole College graduates who can enter the professional world with not only knowledge but also an ability to hit the ground running and a common-sense approach to tackling real issues businesses face.”

This post was originally published in Poole College of Management News.

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