ABM Senior: Finding AFRE and Practicing Her Passion

AFRE student Brooke Vilminot is spending her summer interning at Archer Daniels (ADM) in Toledo, Ohio after finding her home at Michigan State in the AFRE Department.

brookevilminotBrooke Vilminot is a senior in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) studying Agribusiness Management (ABM). For the summer of 2019, Vilminot is interning at Archer Daniels Midland in Toledo, Ohio.

From Concord, Michigan, Vilminot graduated from Hanover-Horton High School — a small school in Jackson County — where she initially intended on pursuing a degree in nursing.

“After discovering that nursing was not for me I changed my major to business preference,” said Vilminot. “In spring of 2018, I took ABM100 with Dr. Laura Cheney and was doing very well.  Dr. Cheney invited me to come talk to an advisor about the ABM and FIM programs offered, and I knew as soon as I walked out of that advising appointment that AFRE was where I needed to be. I loved the versatility of the major and the small feel of the department.”

Since joining AFRE, Vilminot has been actively involved with The Michigan State University National Agri-Marketing Association (MSU NAMA), served as an Undergraduate Recruitment Committee Student Representative, and received the Redmond and Edna Cotter Agribusiness Scholarship. Each student organization has helped Vilminot hone her business, analytical, and leadership skills in preparation for real-world experiences. 

At her internship at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Vilminot is working with both grain origination and grain merchandising, where she works with two mentors both specializing in each position. Vilminot fields questions from farmers about grain bids, creates grain contracts, partakes on farm visits to maintain healthy customer relations with future and existing customers, and keeps up to date with current news within the industry in order to provide producers with informed and educated opinions regarding the future markets.

 Although I’ve just started, I’m really enjoying my experience so far,” said Vilminot. “I have been able to learn a lot and my coworkers are extremely helpful to me. I can apply the knowledge that I learned in ABM100 and ABM225 and within my extracurriculars.  Those classes and experiences were able to help me build a good base of knowledge of what futures markets are, how they work, and different strategies that can be used within them.  

“I’m learning more every day, but I honestly think I would be lost without the knowledge base that I gained at MSU.”

After graduation, Vilminot hopes to land a career in merchandising or sales, preferably staying in the agriculture industry long term, and credits much of her success to her time at AFRE and the opportunities the department has presented to her.

“The professors, advisors, and other staff members within AFRE know most (if not all!) of the names of their students and truly care about our success and I think that is what makes this department so special,” said Vilminot. “I have no doubt that this program has prepared me with the skills and tools that I need to get a job after graduation.”

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