Allison Thomason is a Senior in Agricultural Systems Management.
Allison has a long line of Aggies in her family and has jumped in with both feet to the life of being a fightin’ Texas Aggie. She’s been a student leader in several organizations and shows no signs of slowing down.
This week, Allison sat down and chatted a little about her experiences at Texas A&M University and in the department.
What drew you to Texas A&M?
Allison: Both my family and the family-like atmosphere drew me to the university. Both of my parents are Aggies and are very big football fans. Instead of doing family vacations when my sister and I were little, we bought our first season tickets in ’98 and have been going ever since. Aggieland has always felt like a second home because of this and I didn’t consider anywhere else when applying for school.
Why did you decide to study Agricultural Systems Management? What interests you about AGSM?
Allison: I transferred into AGSM the spring of my sophomore year from Biological and Agricultural Engineering. The big difference was that instead of designing the piece of machinery or application, I was managing it. I have enjoyed learning about how to run a system as well as make it more efficient. Another aspect of this major is the broad range of material we cover. We learn about agricultural machinery, food processing, water resourcing, and the factors that go along with each. As someone who likes to learn, each class has offered something new that will better enable me for the future.
What clubs are you a member of and why?
Allison: I’m currently the Historian for the AGSM Student Club. This is the professional club for our major and I wanted to be involved. As an officer this year, we are continuing on with inviting guest speakers, but have decided to create more of a family environment. We have recently gone on an industry tour to the Shiner Brewery and our first general meeting hosted a domino tournament. I’ve enjoyed watching students be a part of something instead of just coming to the meetings for lack of something better to do.
I’m also currently the Secretary for the Aggie Pullers. I originally joined to learn more about tractors in general, but along the way have found an area where I can contribute to the club. Things for me have to be organized and put together and I’ve been able to apply these skills as the Secretary for the Aggie Pullers. I can always expect something new walking into the meetings or the shop with this group of boys. We have recently, in the last couple years, had more interests from girls which is great! I’ve definitely said plenty of times you don’t have to come in knowing anything; this is a learning experience for all. This last year I traveled with the group to Peoria, Illinois for the ASABE ¼ Scale Student Tractor Pulling Competition. Being able to see a finished project compete and perform with other universities was exciting and being able to meet other students was great too! Although we didn’t place as well as we had hoped last year, I am beyond thrilled for this year’s team who is working towards this year’s competition.
I’m also a bassoon player for the TAMU Symphonic Band. This is my seventh semester in the band and I still enjoy playing. We give two concerts a semester as well as have rehearsals three times a week. It’s nice being able to go do something different and be able to relax after classes. The friends I have made in the band are from different majors, different interests, all very different personalities, but we have this common love for music that’s fun to see come together and create something new.
Have you been abroad? Tell me about your experience.
Allison: I have traveled a few times to Europe. My first abroad experience was a family vacation to visit a friend living in Switzerland when I was younger. It was definitely a cultural experience to travel with her around the country and receive a native’s view more so than looking at everything from a tourist’s view.
My second experience was with the TAMU Symphonic Band to Ireland in May of 2015. The band program combined two of the bands here at the university and took us to Ireland for ten days. During those ten days we visited castles, toured museums, and ate the local food. My favorite part of the trip was performing two band concerts for whoever wanted to listen. It was amazing to see the difference between people from Texas and Ireland, but music brought all ages and all types of people together.
My most current trip was this last summer on the department study abroad trip to Belgium. We were fully immersed into the culture. From living in the dorms in Leuven, to biking to the college and using their classrooms, and having to go out in town to find food, I wouldn’t change one aspect of my trip. For those six weeks I made friends with locals and other students from Belgium and learned that we all have common goals and wants for our lives. I am beyond blessed to have had the chance to study abroad and learn from them and apply what I have learned over here.
What do you want to do when you graduate? Why do you want to go that direction?
Allison: My plan right now when I graduate is to continue my education and work on my masters. I’m not quite ready to join the workforce and I’ve always been a big learner. I plan on pursuing a Master of Science in AGSM and add to what I have already learned as well as gain a deeper knowledge of the material. There is so much information readily available that I don’t want to miss the opportunity to learn more while I’m here.