December 2, 2022
VINCENNES, Ind. – Audrey Hislip ’22 started her college path with an eye on education, but deep down she has always loved agriculture and animals.
"Ever since I was a little girl, I have always had a love for animals and agriculture,” the Vincennes native says. "Even though I didn’t grow up on a farm, I still participated in 4H, was always learning something new about agriculture, and of course, had lots of animals.”
However, when it came time to choose a college degree, agriculture wasn’t exactly at the top of her list. Hislip began as an Education major at VU but realized it wasn’t the right fit for her.
She found a mentor in VU College of Business and Public Service Dean Susan Brocksmith, who previously served as Agribusiness Program Chair. Brocksmith encouraged Hislip to explore agriculture as a future career and check out VU's bachelor's degree program.
"She guided me to the Ag program,” Hislip says. "After one semester in Agribusiness, I knew I was right where I belonged.”
Hislip's achievements back that statement up, proving she is the perfect fit in the field.
Hislip, a dean's list student, will receive her Bachelor of Science in Technology with a concentration in Agribusiness at Mid-Year Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center.
"After switching to the Ag program, I connected so well with all of the professors and other students,” she says. “The professors always made me feel like there was hope and we always knew they’d have our best interest.”
Eager to gain additional real-world experience and with Brocksmith’s guidance, Hislip was involved in a paid internship for the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association. FBFM is a cooperative educational-service program that assists farmers with management decision-making. During the internship, Hislip helped total books, created excel spreadsheets for PPP loans, and handled many other office duties.
"I will forever be thankful for Susan Brocksmith,” Hislip says. “She would send us countless job opportunities, which is how I found out about my current job.”
Yes, you read that right. Even though the 2022 Fall Semester isn’t over and finals are next week, Hislip has already entered the professional world full-time.
She is employed by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. She works for the Indiana Grain Buyers & Warehouse Licensing Agency as a grain compliance auditor.
"This job has taught me so many new things,” she says. "Every day I get to see how a different company operates and meet new people.”
So, what exactly is a grain compliance auditor?
"Grain auditors travel around to grain elevators all over Indiana in their territory, perform all the tasks it takes to complete an audit, collect data from their firm such as insurance, banking, measuring inventory, and so on,” Hislip says. "All of this is completed to make sure that the firm is in compliance with the Indiana grain buyer laws.”
This weekend, Hislip will take time out of her packed schedule to celebrate her bright future and completion of her college degree.
"Without VU, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she says. “VU has given me countless opportunities to strive for success. I appreciate each and every opportunity I have had to get me where I am.”
# # #