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Name: Erika Easton

Company: Farm Credit Canada

Position: Financial Services Representative

Employed: Three years

Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration

Where did you go to school? What program did you attend?
I attended the University of Regina, enrolled in the Paul J Hill School of Business where I obtained my business degree with a major in accounting. I also was able to complete a certificate in economics as well.

What drew you to your current field?
I really enjoy working with numbers and analyzing financials which is what drew me to a lending role. I chose to be an agriculture lender as I have passion and love for the agriculture industry.

How did you find your current position?
I found this position while looking for jobs online that were in agriculture and still allowed me to crunch numbers. I also attended a meet and greet at the university that Farm Credit Canada (FCC) was hosting where I met my manager.

Tell us a bit about your responsibilities.
During a typical workday, I am responsible for being able to answer phone calls to our centre'typically we take from 8ÔÇô10 a day. These calls involve customers wanting a new loan, information on their current loans, retailers wanting information and people wanting general information about FCC and their services. I would also typically receive at least two new loan applications to complete during the day.

What is the most challenging aspect of your position?
Time management is the most challenging. During the spring, we're very busy, as most farmers are buying equipment for the new growing season. During that time, we can take up to 20 calls a day which can be hard to manage as there are a large number of loans that need to be done in a short period of time. We are very customer-minded so I want to get everything done I can for the customer in the timeframe they require which can often mean long hours to get everything done.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Telling customers that we can finance the piece of equipment or land they are purchasing.

What skills have you learned through your work experience?
To be organized. During the busy season at the customer service centre, it is important to know what is on your desk and what needs to be done first so you can meet the expectations of the customer.

What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
Ambition, work ethic, and passion to provide great customer service.

Is there one accomplishment you are most proud of to date?
Having reached ten perfect scores on FCC's customer experience survey in the past year. Surveys go out to each customer after you complete a loan for them and I was one of the first to reach that milestone.

What are your future career aspirations?
To become a relationship manager in one of FCC's field offices. I also want to move back to the family farm and take a bigger role in the day-to-day operations.

What advice do you have for students looking to land their first job?
Attend events put on by employers that interest you, look for jobs online, and be proactive about searching them out. You may not land your dream job right away but you might land one that will lead you to your dream!