February 25, 2021

Celeste Swanson, corporate grain accounting/finance intern

20160719_maxyield_327For someone who has always loved math, an internship in finance and grain accounting is the perfect fit. The fact that MaxYield is close to home is another plus for Celeste Swanson of Galt.

“There’s a lot to learn, but MaxYield makes it fun,” said Swanson, 19, an ISU sophomore majoring in ag business. “They treat you like a team member, crack jokes and help take the weight off your shoulders.”

Q: What inspired you to study agriculture in college?

A: I grew up on a farm near Clarion where my family raises row crops and runs a farrow-to-finish swine operation. Farming is a business, and you have to know the numbers.

Q: What have you enjoyed about your MaxYield grain accounting/finance internship?

A: A lot of this was new to me, and I didn’t realize just how extensive MaxYield’s grain business is. I’ve enjoyed learning how to handle grain settlements, basis contracts, price-later contracts, warehouse receipts, Enogen® corn contracts and trucking schedules. I also enter checks into the accounting system and make sure the money and the bushels match up. The chance to learn more about Harry Bormann’s role with the grain merchandising has helped me gain a bigger picture of the grain industry. I’ve also worked with Susan Post, MaxYield’s chief financial officer, on some corporate accounting.

Q: How have you benefited by having Rick Abrahamson as your mentor at MaxYield?

A: Rick is so approachable and easy to talk to. He’s always willing to help and is making sure I learn everything the right way. On the first day of my internship I felt overwhelmed by all the numbers, but Rick literally sat by my side and walked me through everything. Now I feel I could settle grain contracts in my sleep!

Q: What are your career goals after graduation?

A:  I definitely want to work with numbers. I plan to add another major in international ag and economics with a minor in statistics before I graduate from ISU. My goal is to take the actuarial exams and possibly go into a career related to ag statistics.

Editor’s note: Celeste is the daughter of Stuart and Lori Swanson. In her free time, Celeste loves to go boating with her family and friends. She also enjoys Rollerblading and showing pigs with her family. The Swansons started showing pigs when Celeste was in 4-H and continue to compete at the Iowa State Fair, as well as open shows in Iowa.

A Minute with MaxYield Mentor Rick Abrahamson, corporate grain accounting  

Q: What have you enjoyed about working with Celeste?
 Celeste is fun and easy to work with. She’s a self-starter, she’s a fast learner and there’s isn’t anything she won’t try. I praise the ag business program at ISU, because these kids have a good sense of what agriculture is all about.

Q: What do you appreciate about MaxYield’s internship program?
It’s fun to mentor students and help them learn real-world job skills. The internship program also keeps us current as times change. The interns often have good ideas that can benefit MaxYield. I wish we could clone these interns and keep them as part of our team!

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