AGEC Students’ Internships in Finance
AGEC Senior Heidi Kwon at CBOT above the trading pits
Written by Kendell Combs, Junior, Agribusiness Management & Agricultural Communication
Over the summer, many AGEC students had real-life experiences within the finance sector. They all had a common goal of completing a summer project to benefit the company they were interning with. These students were pushed to create meaningful work, to acquire new knowledge in finance, and to work outside their comfort zones.
Eli Schuler (Junior; AgriFinance; North Manchester, IN) had an internship with First Farmers Bank and Trust as an Ag and Commercial Loan Intern. He was challenged with things that he honestly never saw himself doing. Eli’s time was split amongst spreading financials, analyzing credit, attending loan presentations and client meetings, completing reports, and assisting with various back-end work. He learned that “banking is one of the nations most regulated industries, and there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that many people have never thought about.” By working closely with Loan Administrative Assistants who handle most of this tedious work for each loan, Eli felt genuinely included as these individuals allowed him to assist with substantial work on loans.
Heidi Kwan (Senior; Sales and Marketing; Adria, Singapore) worked for INTL FCStone Merchant Services as a Commodity Financial Analyst Intern. She learned how to book tickets, reconcile the systems, and how the different business functions worked. She witnessed how grain trades unfold: from phones ringing, to trade being entered, to the monitoring of P&L tables. Heidi’s summer project was to find and analyze a market or product opportunity, and then present her findings to the management team. In addition to creating a presentation on physical transactions in the precious metals industry, she wrote a 23-page SWOT analyses report. “I worked with colleagues from all over the company to accomplish my project and got to see how the different departments interact.” She was able to witness how finance involves all sections of a company and that it is beneficial to be knowledgeable of those sections.
Jacob Semonis (Senior; Applied Agricultural Economics; Warsaw, IN) was a financial services intern with Farm Credit Mid-America. “Instead of filling a role somewhere within the business for a period of time, interns are hired on to complete summer projects that are intended to be an outside-looking-in analysis of the association to be utilized by the association’s leadership.” His team spent 80% of their time working on their project, determining the top reasons why Farm Credit lost loans after they were approved. Jacob’s team developed a call list of those individuals. They determined which issues were the most financially detrimental to Farm Credit and then presented recommendations to reduce loan losses in the future. This internship was designed to be extremely challenging, but it helped Jacob learn what a strong work ethic truly means, and he now has an amplified desire to grow professionally.
Cody Maudlin (Senior; Agribusiness Management; Salem, IN) worked as a Regional Agribusiness Credit Analysis for CoBank in Enfield, Ct. There, he was able to experience a vast majority of agriculture industries seeing timber, dairies, tobacco, produce, and aquaculture to name a few. Cody was able to build upon his knowledge of reviewing financial analysis, which includes cash flow analysis, balance sheet analysis, profitability, and liquidity solvency analysis. “My favorite part about my internship this summer is the variety of agriculture the East Coast has to offer. Overall, this was a great experience and I am very happy I took this opportunity to branch out and see a different part of the country.” His move to Connecticut showed him that the agriculture industry can take you anywhere that you are willing to travel to.
Other students who participated in finance internships include: Carley Bennett, Monica Compton, Kathleen Jacobs, Jacque Jacquay, Laira Myers, Dalton Smith, and Kaitlyn Tricker.