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Michael Yates

Michael Yates


Sr. Director Innovation Agricultural Strategy

Personal Information

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School: University of Missouri Columbia

Major: Business

Career Information

Company You Work For Now: Walmart

Title: Sr. Director Innovation Agricultural Strategy

Brief Description of Duties / Responsibilities

Create strategy for fresh division with a focus on technology and innovation

What Has Been Your Proudest Accomplishment Post-CWP?

Having been a positive influence on my colleagues, empowering them and seeing them achieve success.

CWP Career Impact

In one sentence, what has CWP meant to you?

A foundational entrepreneur platform providing the opportunity to experience and learn fundamental business and life skills.

How did your CWP experience impact your career? Immediately after graduation? Now?

It enabled a well rounded and practical knowledge of business allowing me to pursue a wide range of career opportunities. The experience allowed me to gain confidence and challenge myself professionally. I continue to use the business, social, and organizational skills learned in CWP everyday.

What do you want to tell your clients about what it meant to work with them and how it has helped you get to where you are today?

I am most appreciative to the clients that worked with me and were understanding when things did not go perfectly to plan.

What was the greatest lesson you learned from your CWP experience?

There is no substitute for hard work and dedication.

How has the friendships and networks you built during CWP affected you?

It is great to know that there is a network of people to call on anytime.

If you had to come up with an one line slogan for CWP, what would it be? :)

Changing lives, one color at a time


What advice do you have for potential CWP participants? Current CWP participants?

Approach each day with passion and vigor. Don’t be afraid to set lofty goals and seek advice when you need it. Stay humble.

Many college students struggle to choose between an internship specific to their target industry or doing CWP. What advice would you give them on this subject if they wanted to enter your career field?

The skills learned as part of the CWP program are transferable to any career. There are few opportunities in life where you can succeed, fail, and grow along side passionate driven people.

What's your best advice for someone interested in entering your career field?

Be a passionate subject matter expert capable of working cross functionally to identify areas of transformational change

What's your favorite memory from CWP?

The day my most reserved and shy manager booked her first $5k job and burst in tears of joy gaining confidence which later resulted in her running one of the top businesses in the state that year.

Last words of wisdom

Never give up!