Ten interns who are working for Farm Credit Services of Mid-America this summer are solving this problem by taking advantage of the opportunity to work and learn in a real work environment with mentors and professionals who work in their respective fields of study.
The opportunity is a major step in preparing college students to enter the world of life after college.
Chelsey Mann is one in a group of 10 interns and is working out of the Lafayette office this summer. Mann's hometown is Cloverdale, where she grew up on a family farm. She will be a senior at Purdue University this fall, double majoring in agricultural education and agricultural economics.
According to Stacy Mullins, recruitment specialist for Farm Credit, the internship allows college students to practically apply the skills they are learning in college.
"They are getting a first hand look at what a lending officer does for Farm Credit and can apply what they've learned in a real-life situation," she said.
As interns, the 10 students are assigned mentors who guide them through the components of the lending business and helped with their career objectives.
Mann is participating in many aspects of the lending business, attending sales meetings, and completing specialized projects. One of these projects includes interviewing and photographing customers for special recognition of their long-term business history with Farm Credit Services.
Interns also attend an Intern Retreat in mid-summer. This year's retreat will be held in Ohio, where interns will get to experience the relationship Farm Credit has with some of its Amish customers.
"Certainly job experience is one benefit of Farm Credit's college intern program," said Debra Hedrick, financial services officer with Farm Credit Services who is mentoring Mann. "But the interns also get the added benefit of interesting research projects, cross-training, and many networking opportunities with other interns through Farm Credit's four-state area."
The opportunity to network and have a better understanding of what people do in the field of finance were motivating factors for this set of interns. And like many Farm Credit interns before, the experience may help them decide to enter the world of agricultural finance after they complete college.