Jessica S. took a non-traditional path to her military career, and that has only served to power her professional life. Read more to see how she got started.
There is a family farm in rural Minnesota that houses some of Jessica’s fondest childhood memories. There, she helped her grandfather, played with cows, ran in yellow cornfields, and learned the value of hard work. So, years later, when Jessica learned that her university was partnering with CHS to offer an internship in agriculture, she jumped at the opportunity to prepare herself for a future career in the industry.
During that internship, she fell in love with CHS and knew she wanted to spend her career there. After Jessica earned both undergraduate and Master’s degrees, she came back to CHS as a full-time customer service and accounting representative. Her supervisors quickly saw her potential and transferred her to the CHS refined fuels distribution division where she executed high-level, critical decisions to coordinate delivery for hundreds of customers.
Although Jessica had great professional success in her new role as a delivery coordinator specialist, she could not forget her other ambition: to serve her country in the military. This service not only would help others—it would provide a new challenge, a new adventure to shape her for the rest of her life. This goal had been a piece of her life’s puzzle that had not yet been put in place, so she decided to take control and make it fit.
After discussing with her supportive husband, friends and the head of her human resources department about this long-held desire to serve, Jessica started the journey to get ready to join the Army National Guard. Entering as a Specialist, Jessica began basic training at Fort Sill, Okla., and completed Advanced Individual Training (AIT) where she earned an additional Associate’s degree and graduated as the second oldest in her class. As a “non-traditional” student in AIT, Jessica excelled along with her younger peers. Joining the elite 1% of the population that serves in the military remains one of Jessica’s proudest achievements.
Her training in the Guard helped prepare Jessica for the unexpected, no matter how far outside her comfort zone she strayed. Instead of finding complacency in the familiar, she made sure to seek out new challenges, and she put that training into practice when she returned to CHS by seeking out a new position as the senior equity analyst. But her job track hasn’t ended there; in fact, she is set to begin as a CHS financial credit analyst in October 2016. Her personal and professional ambition and bravery have allowed her to explore the broad variety of career paths in both her company and the agricultural industry, and she owes that in large part to both her roots in agriculture and her service as a member of the Army National Guard.