Mildura / Local bank executive planted seeds of flourishing Agribusiness career at La Trobe

Ever wonder what happens to our superstar alumni after they graduate?

We love finding out about all your wonderful achievements, even after you’re no longer at La Trobe.

After all, you’re forever part of the La Trobe family!

This week, we introduce you to Business graduate Jason Marr who is now living the dream as ANZ Regional Executive for North West Victoria.

Jason, what did you study at La Trobe and when?

Studied Bachelor of Business (Economics and Management), 2003-2006

What was your pathway to La Trobe? Do you look back fondly on your Uni years? 

I grew up on a vineyard in Robinvale and always knew that I wanted to pursue a career related to agriculture.

I completed VCE at Mildura Senior College, then moved to Bendigo to study at La Trobe. I did not know one person in Bendigo so I decided to live on campus where I met so many fantastic people who are now some of my closest friends. Moving away from home, living on campus and studying (without parental oversight) taught me some amazing life skills as well as equipping me with the knowledge and qualifications to pursue a professional career.

To be honest, I started my studies without having a firm idea of what my career pathway would look like. I was born and bred on the land and I always knew I loved dealing with people – so I knew I ultimately wanted to end up in a people leadership role with some connection to Agriculture.

I used my elective subjects as a “trial and error” in first year to get a feel for the stream I wanted to pursue. I formed good relationships with some lecturers who were able to guide and assist me with my learning pathway which ultimately led me into finance where I now hold a people leadership role supporting the Agriculture industry.

Please share a little about your role at ANZ.  What’s type of work do you do?

I am the Regional Executive for North West Victoria and I lead a team of 16 bankers who are based across Mildura, Swan Hill & Horsham. My team includes a number of specialist bankers who focus on their local mid-market customer segment in industries such as agribusiness & services to agribusiness, health, professional services (ie. legal, accounting, real estate, insurance etc) as well as diversified trading businesses. Myself and my team work together very closely, focussing on delivering the best experience to our customers, by having an in-depth understanding of their industry and their business which puts us in a position to support their growth aspirations to the best of our ability. 

What do you love about your role?

I am extremely lucky as my role allows me to lead a team of bankers who are passionate about their communities, their customers and their colleagues. One of the things that ANZ support and encourage is community engagement – which is something I am extremely passionate about. Myself and my team run a large number of community events every year (partnering with local charities) which include delivering industry insights in various formats, bringing high profile guest speakers & sporting personalities to the region, industry networking events, women empowering women events as well as being a major sponsor and contributor to many local events across the region.

What do you think are some of the stereotypes around Agribusiness as a career?

I think some people feel there are limited career opportunities in the Ag sector and they potentially think you have to be a farmer or have a farming background to have a career in Agriculture – which is simply not true. Agriculture is pushing towards 100B of output by 2030 and there is significant capital flowing into the industry from domestic and international sources. This capital is underpinning the growth of the industry by allowing continued investment into innovation, technology, genetics, education etc as well as free trade agreements opening up new markets for a number of commodities – all of which create significant employment opportunities in various parts of the Ag supply chain. The industry is working towards carbon neutrality, reducing food waste, animal welfare and sustainable land management goals, which all come with career opportunities.

Some people might think big business only happens in the cities. Do you think there are many opportunities to earn great money in the Agribusiness sector from a regional location?

On a local level, Sunraysia is quickly moving towards becoming the Horticulture hub of the world on the back of things like the Mildura smart farmALTSA recently returning the former CSIRO Merbein site to a world class lab facility servicing the Ag industry, as well as Ag tech firm SproutX recently opening their only regional office right here in Mildura! There are a large number of extremely large and growing Agribusinesses and Ag service providers that call Sunraysia home who employ a large number of people. There is a huge amount of capital flowing into the Ag industry locally which is underpinning the growth of the industry locally and is generating significant local employment opportunities. The industry needs more Ag educated people, and my economics studies taught me that an under supply means more demand which gives you bargaining power!