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Heather Busse
I haven’t found another academic institution that offers this unique opportunity to prepare for a career in agribusiness and accounting.

Profile: Heather Busse

Tax Analyst, International Tax Group at Deere & Company World Headquarters

Heather Busse, an Agri-Accounting graduate, enjoys working for Deere & Company as a tax analyst. The constant changing of tax laws and the challenges that come with the new laws is one of the most enjoyable tasks of her job.

“I find it rewarding to work through complex tax and accounting issues, and teach colleagues about the United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP),” Heather says.  “I also enjoy learning the customs, culture, and work behaviors of the various countries I work with.”

Working on an international scale, strong communication skills, written and verbal, have helped Heather through every position she has held within Deere. Through involvement in group organizations on campus, Heather gained leadership, organizational, and soft skills that have helped her prepare for her current job. The University of Illinois also provided her with a phenomenal education that taught her to listen and apply critical thinking skills to complex problems. These skills have given her the opportunity to advance and prove her potential in her career.

“The University of Illinois provided me with a world-class education and taught me all of the business foundations, theory of accounting, and agribusiness management skills,” Heather says. “One unique class to ACE was an advanced Excel class that was taught by Dr. Ellinger. The class used business cases to teach advanced Excel skills. I use the skills from that class every day in my position. Having that knowledge allows me to make process improvements and suggestions to streamline process and increase efficiency.”

Heather appreciated learning from and studying with some of the brightest minds that continuously challenged her academically. One experience in particular that she thoroughly enjoyed was her study abroad trip to Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia with the ACES Global Ambassadors. The two-week tour covered the agriculture economy and culture of the three former soviet countries.

“My first experience out of the country was life-changing, and it helped me to realize the enjoyment I get from learning about cultures and the experiences help me as I work with many of the Deere international units,” she says.

During her time at U of I, Heather also took a study abroad trip to Brazil. She was very involved on campus with Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority, ACE club, Alpha Zeta, ACES Council, the Student Advancement Committee, and ExplorACES. She also worked for the Department of ACE and had an internship with Deere & Company in college.

“During my time at U of I, my goal was to take advantage of every opportunity,” she says. “Whether it was participating in leadership conferences, attending guest lectures, or volunteering in the community, I took advantage to develop myself, meet new people, and enjoy my time in Champaign.”

The student organizations, leadership opportunities, world-class academic offerings, and the diverse campus were all reasons Heather chose to study at U of I. Growing up on a farm, Heather knew she wanted to study something related to agriculture. U of I allowed her to combine her interest in accounting with her passion for agriculture through the Agri-Accounting degree.

“This degree provided me with a unique set of skills that work especially well in my position at Deere & Company,” she says. “I haven’t found another academic institution that offers this unique opportunity to prepare for a career in agribusiness and accounting.”