Dylan Bjerrum, an agribusiness major with a management minor from Stromsburg, Nebraska, dreams of running his family’s farm. A senior in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration, he experienced the business side of agriculture through an internship with Pinnacle Bank in Osceola, Nebraska.
“I grew up on a small farm where just my dad and I were responsible for the work,” Bjerrum said. “Running a farm is running your own business and many small farms fail because they don’t understand the business side. I wanted to become well-rounded to prepare myself to follow in my father’s footsteps.”
Bjerrum worked for a year as a teller at Pinnacle Bank, headquartered in Lincoln, but wanted to experience banking in a rural, ag-related setting. The company allowed him to transfer locations during the summer and continue working in Lincoln in the fall.
“In small towns, the businesses are largely farm-oriented. I shadowed the president of the bank in Osceola one-on-one and learned the ins-and-outs of small-town banking,” he said. “Small banks don’t have many divisions, so I learned about refinancing loans, lines of credit, inspections and the process of a banking on a macro-level.”
Bjerrum applied knowledge from his many business classes at CBA during the internship. Specifically, Managing Behavior in Organizations (MNGT360) with Dr. Troy Smith, assistant professor of management, emphasized the importance of understanding your audience and different forms of communication.
“Communicating banking information works differently in Lincoln than it does in Osceola. You break things down differently depending on who you are talking to,” Bjerrum said. “The class taught me to analyze who my audience is, and that people interpret information differently.”
While running the family farm is his ultimate goal, Bjerrum hopes to pursue a grain-merchandising job or continue banking. His experience in accounting, finance, economics and management courses combined with agriculture prepares him for different opportunities post-graduation.
“The agribusiness major at Nebraska provides you with variety and sets you up to do a number of jobs,” he said. “You get exposed to many opportunities and the classes give you the necessary business foundation to set you up for success.”
To learn more about the agribusiness program at CBA, visit: http://cba.unl.edu/agribusiness