Excelling in engineering thanks to Wartburg’s connection with John Deere

Tyler Portwood preps for a shot at competition.

By Yvie Croninger ’25

Tyler Portwood ’25 is taking full advantage of Wartburg College’s relationship with John Deere to enhance his educational experience. As an engineering major, the opportunity to work at John Deere part-time through a student-employee program was something he couldn’t pass up.

“I was approached by a buddy on campus who encouraged me to apply for the program. In the program, I have the opportunity to have my foot in the door at a large company that provides on-the-job experience that will benefit me no matter where I end up as an engineer,” he said.

One great benefit of the part-time student program is its flexibility with student schedules and the opportunity to have remote work.

“John Deere is very flexible; they allow you to work when you can, and you don’t have to be in the office every day with the provided remote opportunities. This makes it very easy to balance a full academic schedule, or in my case, an overloaded class schedule, and continue to be a part of extra-curricular activities and still put in about 20 hours a week,” said Portwood. 

Tyler Portwood

He has been able to keep up his academic excellence even with all of his responsibilities. He has been named to the Wartburg College Dean’s List three times and received the National Colligate Shooting Sports Athletic Association award for 2022-23 Excellence in Academics.  

“I would say that Dr. Murad Mahmoud (Dr. M) in the engineering department has been very influential in my time at Wartburg. He actually encouraged me to pick up the engineering management minor,” he said. “I hope every Wartburg student has the opportunity to experience taking classes they actually enjoy. I think enjoying your classes in college can make a big difference between staying in a program or dropping out of school.”

Portwood is from Oxford, Iowa, a small town about 25 minutes west of Iowa City

“I went to a small high school and liked that Wartburg is able to offer small classes because of its size. I also had the opportunity with Wartburg to continue to grow in the clay target sports while getting a well-rounded education,” said Portwood.

One of Portwood’s favorite Wartburg memories is being a part of the clay target sports team that won its second national championship in San Antonio, Texas, in March 2023.

Portwood hopes to continue his career with John Deere after graduating from Wartburg.

“I would like to join the John Deere Engineering Development Program (EDP), where I will have the opportunity to have three eight-month rotations trying out different jobs they offer in order to figure out what I truly want to do within engineering at John Deere,” said Portwood.