Aran Young has recently finished the ASB Future Me graduate programme and is now an ASB Rural Manger.
I grew up on a coastal Southland sheep and beef farm (the trees grow sideways due to strong winds) so I have always had a passion for agriculture and the lifestyle that goes with it. This led me to apply for the Rural stream of the ASB Future Me graduate programme after attending Lincoln University and graduating with a BCom (Ag) degree. I have just completed my time on ASB Future Me and I am now a Rural Manager in Ashburton.
When I started, I wanted to get stuck in and learn everything I could about rural businesses and strive to help them achieve their ambitions. The backbone of the ASB Future Me graduate programme revolved around shadowing an experienced Rural Manager, with the aim of moving into a similar position once rolling off the programme. I will forever be indebted in coffee shouts to the Rural team in Ashburton who were always happy to pass their wisdom on to me.
Similar to the Auckland-based graduates, I completed rotations around different parts of the Rural business unit. This included spending time in ASB branches learning the tech and processes we deal with on a day to day basis, plus time with the local credit manager to build fundamental risk analysis of lending. The wider Rural team was always very encouraging and happy to help. I have been lucky enough to spend time with numerous teams all over the South Island, soaking up skills and experiencing all that they all have to offer.
“It was great to get out of the office and into a pair of gumboots where our clients are working hard”
The life of a Rural grad is challenging, interesting and rewarding. It offers a chance to build real relationships with people and it was great to get out of the office and into a pair of gumboots where our clients are working hard. It’s humbling how open our clients are, inviting us to be an integral part of not only their business, but their lives and seeking for us to add value at every chance we can.
Stepping off and into the future
The process of rolling off the ASB Future Me graduate programme was a nervous and exciting one. I was lucky that a role came up in the region that I have been in for the past 18 months, so I took the plunge. I had confidence that I would get the support that I needed from my team.
My new role involves being the relationship manager for a portfolio of rural clients and bringing on new quality rural business. I am thoroughly enjoying working with my clients and have already learnt a huge amount about the people and their farms. However I think it is safe to say that it is only the tip of the iceberg.
“…as well as the great culture of the ASB Rural team, full of people who are so passionate about what they do”
The ASB Future Me Rural graduate programme has provided me with a great opportunity to be involved with the hard working people of the agriculture sector, as well as the great culture of the ASB Rural team, full of people who are so passionate about what they do. There are so many upcoming challenges and opportunities in the New Zealand agriculture sector and I can’t wait to see how we can face them together.
Find out more about ASB Future Me here.