Internship in a Commodity Trading Company

How to Find an Internship in a Commodity Trading Company: Essential Steps and Tips

Finding an internship in a commodity trading company can be a crucial step for students and young professionals who seek hands-on experience in the fast-paced world of international trade. Internships offer a unique opportunity to learn about trading strategies, risk assessment, and the diverse markets that comprise the commodity sector. It’s essential to know what to look for and how to stand out when facing the application process.

Commodity trading companies typically trade in a variety of physical goods, such as agricultural products, metals, and energy-related assets. These valuable resources are subject to supply and demand forces, as well as geopolitical and economic shifts. An intern can play a significant role in conducting market research, analyzing data, and contributing to the company’s decision-making process, ultimately gaining valuable insights into the industry.

To secure an internship at a reputable commodity trading company, potential candidates should begin by researching the major players within the industry and identifying their locations, key business activities, and internship requirements. Additionally, networking through career events, online professional platforms, and university alumni connections can further enhance the chances of landing a coveted position in this competitive field.

Identifying Commodity Trading Companies

When searching for an internship at a commodity trading company, it is essential to first identify potential firms in the industry. This section will guide you through the process by listing some top commodity trading companies and discussing how to conduct industry research for a more extensive view of potential internship opportunities.

Top Companies

Start by looking into these renowned commodity trading companies known for their success and reputation in the industry:

  • Glencore
  • Trafigura
  • Vitol
  • Cargill
  • Gunvor

These companies often provide internships which offer valuable real-world experience in the commodity trading industry. However, keep in mind that positions can be highly competitive, and you should also consider smaller companies within the sector for additional opportunities.

Industry Research

Performing industry research can help to identify niche commodity trading companies, as well as regional firms that may not appear on global lists. The following resources may be useful in your search:

  1. Industry publications: Journals like the Journal of Commodity Markets or Energy & Metals Consensus Forecast often provide insights into the major players in commodities trading.
  2. Professional networking websites: Platforms like LinkedIn can be useful in discovering internships opportunities by searching for companies and following industry hashtags.
  3. Relevant job boards: Websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and may have postings for commodity trading internships, giving you access to a broader range of companies.

Conducting extensive industry research will broaden your options and increase the likelihood of securing an internship that best suits your interests and career goals in commodity trading.

Exploring Internship Opportunities

Finding an internship in a commodity trading company involves researching various sources and utilizing different strategies. These opportunities require perseverance, active engagement, and planning. This section elaborates on three valuable sources for exploring commodity trading internships.

Company Websites

Begin by researching prominent commodity trading companies and visiting their official websites. Most companies have a dedicated careers or internships section that provides the necessary information about available positions, including:

  • Application deadlines
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Duration and location
  • Roles and responsibilities

It’s essential to regularly check these websites and act promptly when new internship opportunities are posted.


Building professional connections is a crucial aspect of finding an internship in the commodity trading industry. Network with professors, alumni, and fellow students, to learn about available opportunities and gain valuable insights. Some potential networking opportunities include:

Networking OpportunityDescription
Industry eventsAttend conferences, seminars, or trade fairs in the commodity trading sector to make meaningful connections.
Social media platformsJoin LinkedIn or other professional platforms and engage with commodity trading groups and experts in the field.
Professional associationsBecome a member of relevant organizations to stay informed of opportunities and expand your network.

Job Platforms

Online job platforms are useful resources for finding internships in commodity trading. Register on various job portals and create a profile that highlights your areas of interest and expertise. Additionally, subscribing to email alerts will ensure you stay updated on the latest listings. Some popular job platforms to explore include:

  • Indeed
  • Glassdoor
  • Internshala
  • WayUp

By combining these strategies, you increase your chances of securing an internship in the competitive commodity trading industry.

Preparing a Strong Application

Finding an internship in a commodity trading company requires a strong application, which consists of a well-crafted resume and a persuasive cover letter. The following tips will help applicants create a competitive application.

Resume Tips

Constructing a successful resume that showcases relevant skills and experiences is crucial. Consider the following suggestions:

  • Highlight relevant coursework: Mention courses related to finance, economics, and business, as these subjects are typically essential to commodity trading.
  • Include internships and work experience: Emphasize any positions that demonstrate an understanding of finance, trading, or the specific commodities the company trades in.
  • Quantify achievements: Use numbers and figures to describe accomplishments, such as ‘increased revenue by 10%’ or ‘managed a $20,000 budget’.
  • Emphasize technical and analytical skills: Commodities trading companies value applicants who are proficient in various programming languages, analytical tools, and platforms.

Cover Letter Strategies

A well-written cover letter that complements the resume can help applicants stand out among the competition. To create an effective cover letter, consider the following strategies:

  • Address the employer’s needs: Research the company to understand its objectives, culture, and specific requirements, and tailor the cover letter accordingly.
  • Demonstrate genuine interest: Explain why the candidate is attracted to commodity trading and the company itself. This shows the employer that the applicant is genuinely enthusiastic about the opportunity.
  • Use success stories to illustrate skills: Provide concrete examples of how the candidate’s skills and experiences have led to positive outcomes in previous roles, internships, or projects.
  • Proofread and edit: A cover letter should be error-free and well-organized, reflecting professionalism and attention to detail.

Acing the Interview Process

Finding an internship in a commodity trading company can be a rewarding experience. One key element to securing such a position is acing the interview process. In this section, we will cover three important sub-sections: Research and Preparation, Behavioral Questions, and Technical Questions.

Research and Preparation

Before attending the interview, it is crucial to research the company and the industry. This includes understanding the company’s business model, competitors, and market trends. A well-prepared candidate can use this information to demonstrate their interest and knowledge during the interview.

Some suggested research areas include:

  • Company’s website and press releases
  • Financial statements and annual reports
  • Industry news sources and market analysis reports

Behavioral Questions

Employers often use behavioral questions to evaluate a candidate’s ability to handle challenging situations, work well with others, and demonstrate leadership. Thoroughly preparing for these questions can help demonstrate the candidate’s suitability for the internship.

Consider using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your responses:

  1. Describe a specific situation you have faced
  2. Explain the task you needed to accomplish
  3. Outline the action steps you took
  4. Discuss the result and what you learned from the experience

Technical Questions

A commodity trading internship may require some knowledge of the financial markets, trading concepts, and risk management strategies. Candidates should review relevant topics to effectively answer technical questions.

Some common technical topics to review include:

  • Market fundamentals and trading strategies
  • Risk management and portfolio optimization
  • Derivative instruments and trading platforms

A solid understanding of these topics can help you convey your competence and interest in the commodity trading industry.

Following Up and Securing the Internship

Finding and securing an internship at a commodity trading company can be a rewarding and educational experience. Following up effectively and securing the position are crucial steps in the process.

Thank You Notes

One way to increase your chances of being offered the internship is by sending timely and professional thank you notes. After an interview or meeting with company representatives, it is important to send a thank you note within 24 hours.

Email is an acceptable way to send a thank you note, but a handwritten card can leave a lasting impression. In your note, be sure to express gratitude for the opportunity to interview, mention the highlights of the conversation, and reiterate your interest in the position.

Negotiating Offers

In some cases, an internship offer may not include all the benefits or stipulations you require. When this happens, it is important to approach the negotiation process professionally and with a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve.

Before entering negotiations, consider:

  • Your ideal compensation, such as a stipend or hourly wage
  • Flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or a part-time schedule
  • Additional support or resources, such as mentorship or training opportunities

When discussing your requests with the company, frame them in a way that highlights the mutual benefits both parties will receive. Be prepared to compromise, and remember that maintaining a positive relationship with the company is equally important as securing the best possible internship terms.

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