The other day I was speaking with one of our SACA students that just finished his study and was about to start to find a job in the commodity industry.
I was doing my usual spiel: the competition is fierce out there if you want to find a job in commodity trading, you need to be remarkable.
Don’t spam the world of CV, but do remarkable stuff. I’ve already written on this subject here
During those kinds of conversations, I feel like I’m already old; I always say the same stuff. But, it seems that people don’t get it. I don’t if it’s the school system that makes people behave like sheep or if it’s just human nature.
Anyway, I know I’m right with the “do remarkable stuff,” as math is way in my favor… The acceptance rate for entry-level positions is often below 1% in most commodity trading companies.
So, if you aspire to be an average person, with an average acceptance rate, you’ll need to apply to more than 100 entry-level positions to have a shot statistically.
I digress, back to my conversation with the SACA students. The guy was 25, in his prime, sharp as a knife. This is the type of guy that knows half of the Pi number. (pun intended)
But as bright as he was, he could not come with one action that I would deem barely remarkable...
Example of remarkable action to break in the commodity trading industry
Below you will find a screenshot of one of our SACA student that did remarkable stuff to break in.
I don’t want to give to many details out, but basically, he forced his way in an Austrian commodity trading house, focused on the rapeseed market.
Look at the commitment; the guy drove from Austria to Croatia just to speak with different actors at the rapeseed origin.
A strategy for remarkability to find a job in the commodity industry
The strategy that I’ll lay out below is focused for students about to enter the workforce. It’s an easy one, but of course, not grandiose as the one previously illustrated.
1) Find a small to medium size commodity-related company.
2) Figure out what they do, what they trade, which product, which region, etc… Try to call junior traders or operation guys to figure it out. When you have a rough idea of their trading flows.
Pick one flow.
3) Look online and call the company at the origination and/or at the distribution of this flow. Get as much information as possible from them.
Tonnage, margin, product, market intel, specification, etc… Try to understand how they make their bulk of money.
If, at this stage, you wonder how you can get such type of information. Actually, it’s quite easy as a student; you could just say that you are a student and need this information for a paper. Or say whatever you want in the same line.
You’ll be surprised how easy it is to get relevant information. People love speaking about themselves and what they do.
4) Then compile your research-call in a PowerPoint presentation
5) Call the guy from the company chosen in step 1 with the hiring power.
Depending on the size of the company, call the CEO/head of trading/head of…
If you are not sure who’s the person in charge, directly ask the receptionist.
Once you have him on the phone, explained what you have done. Cite the companies that you have called to compile all the information about XYZ trade flows. Conclude by saying that you want 15min of his team’s time to present the result of your research.
If he says no, then push a bit. If it still no. Then send the presentation by email and ask him to for an UNPAID internship.
Interns are useless for small commodity companies
Usually, small and medium-size company hates interns as they just suck time out of your day and have an overall negative ROI.
So you need to address this objection right away in your email.
Write something around those following lines.
“Please consider me for an UNPAID internship. I won’t be a time blackhole for you and your team. I’ll be able to conduct more in-depth research with the right guidance. Or anything type of job you would deem, I just want to be around XYZ as I know this is the best kind of learning. ”
And of course, follow up, follow up, follow up!!!!!!!!