ABEM Student Spotlight Danielle Jess

Danielle Jess, senior Agribusiness Economics & Management major was asked by the department to provide insight regarding her work this summer as an intern with American AgCredit, below is her experience.

This summer I had the opportunity to work as a Credit Intern at American AgCredit, one of the largest associations in the Farm Credit System, which provides reliable financing to all facets of agriculture. My internship program began with a week-long training at the corporate headquarters located in Santa Rosa, California, the heart of Napa wine country. While in Santa Rosa, my fellow interns and I were taught the ins and outs of the company, credit philosophy, financial lending, appraisal, credit resolution and met with different borrowers in the Napa area! After training, I traveled to my assigned branch in Stockton, California, where I would spend the next 8 weeks!  

In Stockton, I worked closely with the underwriting, lending and appraisals teams. One of my favorite parts of the internship was that the projects I worked on were real world projects and truly showed me what it is like to work in the financial side of the agriculture industry. Each department showed me what they do; from spreading financials and making decisions with underwriting, visiting borrower’s operations and sitting in on meetings with potential borrowers with the lending team, and traveling to do appraisal and sales inspections with the appraisal department! What I appreciated even more than the real-world application, was how much the teams in Stockton made me feel a part of the “American AgCredit Family.”  

At the end of the internship program, my fellow interns and I traveled to Greeley, Colorado to present our internship wrap-up presentations with the findings and overview of what we did over the summer in our respected branches located across California, Nevada, Colorado and Kansas. While in Greeley, we also got to visit a dairy and beef cattle feedlot borrower. Having grown up on my family’s beef cattle operation in Northern California, this was an incredible learning opportunity to see how operations are similar and different in various parts across the United States.

I genuinely believe that the education that I have received in the AREC department here at the University of Arizona, prepared me for this internship. The concepts taught in AREC 315 and 360 in terms of credit and microfinance provided me with a strong foundation going into the program. If you are someone who is considering a career in agricultural finance, I would strongly recommend seeking out an internship with American AgCredit or any association within the Farm Credit System. I could not be more appreciative to have spent the summer learning from such incredible mentors and for the opportunity to learn what it is like to work for an incredible company.

All photo credits to Danielle Jess.

AREC thanks Danielle for sharing her experience with all of us.  If you are interested in learning more about the internship process for unit credit, please see the AREC academic advisor.  You may also see the AREC internship application process at https://cals.arizona.edu/arec/internships.