Staff spotlight: Garrett Seagren starts career serving small businesses

Small Towns

From a college internship to a full-time career, Garrett Seagren has become very familiar with the Center for Rural Affairs.

Although he had a variety of options to fulfill his internship requirement for Concordia University, in Seward, Nebraska, Garrett felt the Center was the right fit. He started working with the Center in January 2023.

“I had a few different internships to choose from, but it seemed to me that I would get the most out of working with the Center,” said Garrett. “I was also interested in lending, and this type of work has already given me a variety of valuable experiences.”

After his internship ended and he graduated, Garrett applied to work full-time with the Center and recently began his new role as a lending assistant.

“Because of my internship, I realized this was the path that I wanted to go down to start my career,” he said. “I enjoy connecting with a diverse group of clients and interacting with so many great individuals within the Center.”

Kim Preston, Lending Services Director with the Center, worked with Garrett during his internship and is pleased to have him join the team full-time.

“From the start, I was impressed as he showed more analytical skills than most new college graduates with very little experience would demonstrate,” said Kim. “I expect each day to be a new learning opportunity for him and one he will take head-on and continue to surprise us all.”

As a lending assistant, Garrett helps Center Senior Loan Specialist Lori Schrader in all loan activities, including meeting with clients while doing site visits and providing technical assistance for both small business and home ownership loans.

Whether he’s intaking applicants, packaging loans, or presenting loans to committees, Garrett’s responsibilities are preparing him for his eventual transition to becoming a lending specialist, and serving the southeast region of Nebraska.

“This work lets me meet and interact with so many different people,” he said. “It’s so fulfilling helping someone achieve their dream of owning their own business.”

As a native of the small community of Oakland, Nebraska, Garrett understands the importance of rural communities.

“I have grown up in a small community, and I see how many different small businesses and individuals it takes to keep a town thriving,” said Garrett. “In my position, I have the privilege of helping people keep these small communities thriving.”

When Garrett isn’t on the job, he loves spending outdoor time with his family and friends at the lake, hiking, and camping.

Reach Garrett at his office in Lyons, Nebraska, at 402.580.1007 or