Name: Jena B.
Title: Oilseed Analyst
Career Area: Supply Chain & Logistics
Location: Wayzata, Minnesota
Education: Minnesota State University Moorhead: BA Economics & minor in Communication Studies; Purdue University: MS Agricultural Economics
“The work I do creates trading recommendations that will actually be executed.”
Throughout my education and past employment, I have never experienced a group of individuals so dedicated to their work and driven to succeed. This creates a trustworthy team where we can collaborate to solve problems and see things in a different way. My team is encouraged to challenge the current processes and move to more efficient and effective solutions, giving input regardless of tenure or job title.
Describe your work responsibilities and the importance of your role.
I am responsible for maintaining supply and demand balance sheets for US soybeans and soybean meal. I then identify times of surplus or deficit and generate price recommendations so Cargill trading teams can structure their trading positions for maximum profit. I work with traders handling both futures contracts and physical products. This is a team effort, but I take ownership of my forecasts and must be a champion for the insights generated. The world of global ag is constantly changing and we need to stay ahead of our competition. My work gives Cargill traders an edge in the market.
Describe your day-to-day activities and the skills needed to perform well.
Each day is different, but our team is always driving to the GTA goal of creating “unique, timely, actionable and accurate insights” for the trading desks. Major skills I use on a daily basis include decision-making, critical thinking, mathematics, and communication. I must combine quantitative data with anecdotal information from experienced traders in order to generate forecasts that I can communicate and defend. I must also monitor the news and information from outside analysts to better understand what is influencing other traders in the market and ultimately driving price.
Describe your career path. Where did you start and how did you get to where you are today?
I worked as a bank teller 20-40 hours/week throughout my undergraduate career. I was a research assistant during my time in graduate school which sharpened my research and communication skills and allowed me to interact with some of the top ag companies. My Cargill career began as an ethanol demand analyst. After one year in that position, my role changed to soybean demand analysis and later widened to include soybean meal. Much of my learning at Cargill has been on-the-job training and coaching from other analysts. I also participated in GTA Master Classes and Cargill internal training & development programs.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
The opportunity to solve a problem and immediately see the impact. The work I do creates trading recommendations that will actually be executed. The world of agricultural commodity futures is high-energy and competitive. We are constantly challenged to create better insights and improve trading revenues. Our performance against the market is immediately seen in the profit and loss report (PnL).
Why did you choose to join Cargill and what keeps you here? In other words, how has a career at Cargill helped you to thrive?
I chose Cargill based on its reputation for strong values and long-term success. This role specifically drew my attention based on its Minnesota location and good match for my educational background. I stay here based on the daily challenge and the quality and community of the people around me.
What advice would you give someone interested in a career at Cargill like yours?
Come with an open mind and don’t be afraid to think of things in a new way. There is a lot to be learned from the existing team and processes, but we are always looking for new perspectives and open to change.
Share an interesting tidbit about yourself such as hobbies, volunteerism, favorite foods or activities, accomplishments inside or outside of work.
I am a member of the GOSCNA Community Involvement Team and create quarterly recaps of GTA volunteer activities occurring worldwide. Outside work, I enjoy watching movies and visiting family.