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Ashley Waldron
Dallas, Texas

"I love the travel. I've seen lots of different parts of the country that I would probably never have otherwise seen."

Ashley WaldronWhy FCA?
"I first learned about FCA at my university's business career fair during my senior year of college. I had never heard of FCA before, but my major was finance and I saw that was one of the majors FCA was looking for. I stopped at the FCA booth and talked to the recruiting folks. I had another job offer I had been considering, but FCA appealed to me the most mainly because of the flexibility of the work schedule and also the travel aspect of it.

"I started working at FCA in June 2009 just a few weeks after I graduated, and now I'm going on six years here. I went to the University of North Texas in Denton.

"I did not have any sort of farming or ag background before I started working at FCA. The closest thing I had to a banking background was a finance degree. It certainly would have helped if I had had an ag background, but I wouldn't say that not having one has hindered me in performing my job. There's lots of training FCA provides and they basically teach you everything you need to know in order to do the job. Then, as you are out in the field, you pick up additional knowledge in working with various institutions and working with more tenured examiners."

"I started in the Staff Development Division (SDD) when I began at FCA and transitioned to the Association Examination Division (AED) in October 2011. I have been in AED since then. The SDD has a structured training program for new associate examiners, and it involves every facet of the job. You get training on farming and agricultural terminology, ag and farming processes, credit, finance, appraisal, communications, audit, governance—everything you need to know in order to be a commissioned examiner down the line.

Typical day
"In the office, my day always starts with checking my email. I'll address anything that is pressing and then move on to whatever assignments I happen to be working on that week. There's not really a typical day in the sense that I'm always working on different areas assigned for different institutions we happen to be working on at the moment.

Working on bank examinations
"When we are on-site, we're reviewing loans and we are basically completing an analysis on the five C's of credit [character, capacity, capital, collateral and conditions] and then evaluating credit administration. If we're not looking at loans, we're typically on-site evaluating an institution's asset quality, reviewing loan portfolio management, assessing financial condition and performance, or examining corporate governance areas. The assignments depend on what the examiner-in-charge of the institution wants you to look at for that examination.

Lots of opportunities to hone skills
"As an examiner, I've definitely improved my skills in financial analysis; credit analysis; teamwork, which is a big part of the examination process; and communication skills—both written and oral. Public speaking really is a huge part of the job. We're meeting with management teams and boards of directors, and we're giving presentations on the results of our examination work. The power of persuasion as you communicate with management and boards of directors is really important. In doing the job, I would definitely say I've improved a lot in that area.

"I'd say a definite challenge was getting more comfortable with presenting to larger audiences. During my time at FCA, I've improved on my public speaking skills—giving presentations to larger audiences has over time become much less of a challenge for me.

Benefits of working at FCA
"Some of the benefits of working at FCA are the flexible work schedule, the work-life balance, compensation and benefits. We get a nice amount of vacation time and sick leave benefits. I love the travel. I've seen lots of different parts of the country that I would probably never have otherwise seen. There are also great people that work at FCA."

Posted September 9, 2015