A purpose-led career with relationships at heart | Rabobank
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A purpose-led career with relationships at heart

Category Our People

Kimberley Hoepner Rabobank People

Good things come to those who wait, and South Australia’s Kimberley Hoepner was willing to play the long game when it came to securing the role of her dreams.

Having grown up on a mixed farming operation at Balaklava, Kimberley knew from a young age that agriculture was her destiny, and an Agribusiness degree from Marcus Oldham opened her options to a wealth of opportunity.

She “cut her teeth” in the grain industry for four years in Adelaide, enjoying impressive and meteoric success becoming the South Australian Accumulation Manager for a global corporate, yet admits her heart was elsewhere.

“I really wanted to work in partnership with farmers, in a purpose-led role where you know you’re helping someone get ahead, and not just being driven by corporate profits.”

“My family are Rabobank clients and so over the years I’ve seen first-hand the bank’s client relationship focus, and how integral our managers have been within our operation,” Kimberley said.

“As a co-operative, I knew Rabobank had farmers at heart, and the fact it specialised in agricultural clients was hugely appealing.”

With her partner a Clare local, Kimberley made the move to join him back in the region, and with her eye on working in the local Rabobank branch, she patiently bided her time.

She worked in the wine industry in the meantime, and while she loved the experience and skills gained, it reaffirmed her intentions of wanting to work in the wider ag sector.

Kimberley Hoepner Rabobank People

“I missed following the grain and sheep markets, the commodity reports, and really craved a more diverse ag role.”

After 12 months Kimberley secured her coveted Rabobank role, and smiles that now, two and a half years later, it was worth the wait.

Recently promoted to a Rural Manager in the Clare branch, Kimberley is thrilled to be working with farmers every day, in a job even better than she envisioned.

“I feel so much more than just another service supplier, I get to really know my clients, their business, their families, their goals – whether they want to expand for future generations, wind down for retirement, or maintain business as usual, my job is to understand what they’re trying to achieve, and help them get there, which is so exciting and rewarding.”

Admitting she loves crunching numbers, Kimberley said the role afforded her the perfect mix of office time and relationship building.

“In the corporate world, I would speak to 100 people a week, and never get to know any of them – now I get to actually form lasting connections, within the bank and in the community.”

Back in her heartland

The move back to Clare provided Kimberley the opportunity to be nearer to family – the closest she’s been since leaving for boarding school in her early teens.

Kimberley Hoepner Rabobank People

“I’m enjoying being able to contribute to the farm, helping my father and brother with the grain marketing, and as a sounding board – plus sitting on the tractor occasionally,” she smiles. “It’s so exciting to be able to keep abreast of everything happening on the farm, and be included in the conversation.”

This on-the-ground experience and knowledge further strengthens her rapport with her clients.

“Our family farm is in quite a marginal area, so we’ve had plenty of runs of bad seasons, and I think that makes it so much easier to empathise with clients.”

“Farming is such a unique business model, and I’d be lost without my background in ag and appreciation for my clients’ connection to their land.”

Contributing to community, and a very special legacy

Sadly, Kimberley lost her mother to breast cancer when she was just 17, and as such, her return to the region – the same region that her mother grew up in – represents her own deep connection to the land.

“My grandfather only recently moved off the farm on which she grew up, so it’s been really nice to have all these lovely reminders of her.”

A keen netballer, Kimberley is also playing for Blyth-Snowtown, and while it’s not her closest netball club, it’s the same club her mother played for.

“She’s part of the reason I play netball, and I feel really proud to be honouring her in a district where she was so adored.”

Last year, Kimberley also raised $10,000 for the Breast Cancer Foundation, colouring her hair pink for a whole month and fundraising through local bowls days, raffles and a ‘Ladies Day’ at the netball club.

In a role, and region she loves, Kimberley’s homecoming is one she has fully embraced, and just reward for her foresight and patience finding a job that fits.