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Farmers and Merchants State Bank mentors interns

Submitted photo This year's intern, Sam Slieter, with Farmers and Merchants State Bank Executive Vice President Al Berube and former intern Stephanie Carrlson.

As summer begins, Farmers and Merchants State Bank in New York Mills is gearing up to mentor its seventh intern via the T.E.A.M. Future Banker intern program.

The Training, Educating, And Mentoring (T.E.A.M.) future bankers program has helped Farmers and Merchants give students the chance to participate in all aspects of a job at a community bank, including teller, bookkeeper, and loan officer, as well as community service training.

The bank's intern from two years ago, Stephanie Carrlson, recently graduated from Alexandria Technical and Community College with a degree in finance and credit management and is now using her skills full-time at Farmers and Merchants. She wholeheartedly endorses the program.

"My internship really gave me an early opportunity to experience banking and it confirmed for me that this is the field I want to be in, even before I headed off to college," she said.

That real world experience is something recent NY Mills High School graduate and this year's bank intern, Sam Slieter, is looking forward to this summer: "Having some experience in the bank will hopefully help me more narrowly focus my business studies and career selection over the next four years."

Besides numbers and policies, the bank encourages strong community involvement as an important aspect of job training.

"We hope to get Sam and Stephanie out there in the community with us. In a small town, it's extremely important for all businesses and individuals to help create a great environment to live and do business in," expressed Executive Vice President Al Berube.

Some potential ways the bank hopes to get them involved include, helping to plan and assist with summer festivals, attending weekly community business meetings, and working at the bank's annual customer appreciation picnic.

"We have had such a good experience with all of our interns," said Berube. "The T.E.A.M. program truly provides a great service to both the bank and the intern."

T.E.A.M. Future Bankers is a guided high school internship program for independent community banks offered by Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota and supported by the Pohlad Family Foundation. Since its inception in 2004, the program has delivered real-world financial education and experience to more than 560 high school students aged 16-19.

Farmers and Merchants State Bank is locally owned and has provided financial services to the New York Mills area since 1916.