Internship helps set Luke’s path
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Internship helps set Luke’s path

Category Rabo Community Fund

Luke Andrews

Currently completing a post-graduate diploma at The University of Adelaide, Luke Andrews is well-placed when it comes to driving the future of sustainable, carbon-conscious agricultural systems.

But would his studies - specialised around refining current carbon emission and capturing tools – translate into the workplace?

It’s a niggle the passionate young graduate can now firmly quash, with a recent three month scholarship affording him a unique opportunity to put his skills into practice.

As one of seven recipients of a  $15,000 Rabo Tertiary Pathways scholarship, Luke has spent two days a week working in the Rabobank Adelaide branch, and admits the experience greatly exceeded all expectations.

“Having studied global food and agribusiness at The University of Adelaide, I had a reasonable idea of how a bank worked, and while I knew Rabobank had shared values and vision for a sustainable future – the reality of the work around sustainable practice being spearheaded is really exciting.”

Inspired to apply for the Rabo Tertiary Pathways program due to its strong compatibility with his chosen studies, he said the chance to gain experience in the workplace while completing his studies– with his university partnering with Rabobank to offer this scholarship - was invaluable.

“A highlight for me was definitely having the opportunity to work on a carbon pilot, a trial developing a carbon calculator for grain and oilseed operations by working with clients to estimate their carbon emissions and sequestration potential through identifying crops and area grown, diesel usage and fertiliser rates.”

“Having majored in sustainable farming, you just don’t know whether there will be a chance to put that learning into practice, so I feel exceptionally grateful to have had this opportunity.”

The scholarship has proven pivotal in cementing Luke’s career path, with a Rabobank future looking likely.

“I know first-hand now that Rabobank is not only a highly successful food and agricultural banking business, but also an organisation with an eye to the future, especially in terms of meeting the challenges faced with educating and implementing sustainable practices as the world heads towards a carbon neutral future,” he said.

Luke’s internship also coincided with the conversion of a new client, enabling him to ‘shadow’ a rural manager for the complete process - from letter of offer, to background checks, business cash flows to their welcome on board.

And while he spent the majority of his time in the Adelaide branch, he was able to spend two weeks in the Port Lincoln branch, providing insights, he said, between the city and country branches.

Raised in a rural community in the Lower Eyre Peninsula region, Luke exemplifies the new generation of agricultural students championing a more sustainable future, his traditional rural upbringing underpinning a new direction for the industry – and he’s excited to be partnering with a bank that shares his vision.

“My inspiration comes from securing a sustainable farming future, and while you hear lots of companies talking about sustainability, what’s spoken is not always put into practice.”

“My Rabo Tertiary Pathways Scholarship has assured me that Rabobank is very much working with clients in this space, and it’s a space I’m looking forward to being a part of.”

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