Hello, My Name is Arneisha Smallwood and I’m a Loan Officer Intern at the Brown Summit Branch of Carolina Farm Credit.
I’m currently a graduate student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University studying Agricultural Education (Professional Services). Last year, I received a Bachelors of Science degree in Agricultural Education (Professional Services) with a concentration in Agribusiness from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Let me start by saying that I’m not the average agriculture student because I don’t have a farm upbringing. However, many individuals like me are becoming interested and involved with the agricultural industries that don’t come from rural areas where farming is the norm for most families. I was born in New Jersey and lived there until I was about thirteen then my family and I moved to North Carolina. I hate to admit it now but I was one of those individuals that didn’t have a clue as to what agriculture really was and I didn’t realize how much agriculture played a role in my everyday life. Furthermore, I’m optimistic and enthusiastic about interning for Carolina Farm Credit this summer. In the past, the internships that I was selected for were research based which was nice but I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t want to conduct research for the rest of my life.
During the first week of this internship, I had the opportunity to meet the other interns and go through training with them as well. In addition, we had the pleasure of going to a distillery and different farms in Iredell County. On the other hand, I was quite nervous about starting at my branch the following week because everyone would laugh and say good luck when I would state that I would be working in Brown Summit. Soon I found out that there are no fast food restaurants near the branch meaning that I would have to travel 15 minutes to get something to eat. The good thing about being in the middle of nowhere is we get the opportunity to bond over lunch because we either buy lunch or bring our own food and eat together and talk about our day.
Honestly my first week at the Brown Summit Branch was pretty awesome becuase everyone welcomed me with open arms, LITERALLY! When I wasn't busy working on Career Café modules, Ms. Wanda would teach me about the loan making process from start to finish and assign different tasks for me to complete. Some of the things I learned how to do are as follows: filling out new member and appraisal letters, obtain quotes for insurance, pulling credit, placing withdrawn applications into AgDocs, etc. The Brown Summit Branch is filled with kind, intelligent, and hard working individuals. I'm so grateful that I was selected as an intern and to work within this branch.
By my third week, I was getting the hang of the loan making process and completing assignments faster and faster but accurately at the same time. Also, I attended the CORE Academy Departmental Overview departments within Carolina Farm Credit. Later that week, I attended my first meeting with the other interns and the marketing department to discuss our group project for the summer. The meeting went very well and we got a lot accomplished in one day. The following week I had the opportunity of traveling to Columbia, SC for the AgFirst Intern and New Hiring Training. I learned so much within two days and I even met another Aggie during my time there! However, one of the best parts of the trip was getting to know some of my Carolina Farm Credit peers better. So far I'm enjoying my time with this organization and I can't wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store for me!
To read more about Carolina Farm Credit, our members and the ag industry, check out issues of our Leader magazine—you can read them online.
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