Name: Cristina I.
Title: Senior Trader
Career Area: Trading
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Education: BSc Electric Engineering and Telecommunications
“I’ve had the opportunity to access some of the great professionals in my area, which encourages me to always aim higher.”
Some people join a team apprehensively and find it very difficult to relate or to offer trust to the co-workers or managers. As you gain some experience and go through difficult or critical decision making moments, you realize the true value of the people around you. Growing up I immediately possessed a sense of perseverance to become the best in whatever idea I chose to pursue, and I have learned to always acknowledge and surpass my limitations. The education I have received from both my parents, the good teachers and role models I have met throughout my formative years, it all still bears with me today and translates into constantly looking up to people’s skills and talents, learning as much as I can from their experience and applying that knowledge to my day-to-day activity. I’ve also had the opportunity to access some of the great professionals in my area, which encourages me to always aim higher.
Describe your work responsibilities and the importance of your role.
My current role is to coordinate the NGFI program served from Romania, mostly centered on soybean meal import and distribution to Romania, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Moldova. The responsibilities also extend to soybeans origination for local market and export, sunflower meal trading and grains purchases and sales for the feed consumers. The trading side of the job is closely linked to the marketing dimension, as the distribution program itself means dealing with over 100 customers, traders and consumers, and the Local Marketing Lead role that I perform gives me the insight and means to manage the customers focus carefully.
Describe your day-to-day activities and the skills needed to perform well.
Every day is different. I am aware of the oddness of such a statement within a corporation, but I never get a “copy paste” day and the challenge is always there to be chased. There are at least three sides of the job: firstly and most crucial maybe is the admin work (reporting positions, shipment plans, supply & demand numbers, management of the contracts and deliveries), secondly the actual trading decisions (on positions, purchasing and selling timing, stocks), and thirdly there is the client interaction dimension, more often than not a delight, but which sometimes poses a great deal of pressure, given the large scale of clients we deal with and the problems that arise. All these need to be tackled with the utmost respect, arbitrage, attention and accountability.
Describe your career path. Where did you start and how did you get to where you are today?
I joined the company’s branch in Bucharest in April 2010 as a Commercial Management Trainee on the oilseeds business within GOSCE. One and a half years into the job I became a Junior Trader dealing with sun crush in Romania. I shortly moved to the Amsterdam office as a Trader for one year working on softmeals for six months and sunoil for another six months. I eventually returned to Bucharest to take over the NGFI program as a Senior Trader. All the stages left a good print in my development, since I got involved in different businesses, with very different people and game plan strategy, which was the main engine in my curiosity and eagerness to learn more and have successful results.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
The reward itself comes from the fact that my actions are measurable. All my efforts translate into definite results, and my work has an undeniable finality, which is precisely where I find my reward – in a job well done.
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 didn’t precisely choose Cargill. Looking back, it was pure chance that, at some point, I sat down with two choices on the table and decided to go for the one I knew absolutely nothing about at that stage. Everything was new to me, even the company background, the business sector, not to mention products like soy bean meal, which I now manage to the core. It is true that I have come a long way since that day, but there is a lot to be done still, many paths to be created, mistakes to be made, successes to be met. The key to the good relationship, so far, comes from the fact that I always have people available and willing to share an opinion, challenge me and my ideas. I have a voice wherever and whenever I choose to react, and I am regarded with respect and seriousness, irrespective of gender, nationality or other aspects.
What advice would you give someone interested in a career at Cargill like yours?
Don’t be afraid to take chances. Those who stand still never cross the finish line. Those who are comfortable never reach for more. Use every day to learn, and invest more in your mind and soul, rather than in material possessions. Choose your path or let it choose you and be the best at what you do. Then aim higher!
Share an interesting tidbit about yourself such as hobbies, volunteerism, favorite foods or activities, accomplishments inside or outside of work.
It’s been more than 10 years now that I have been practicing every kind of flying activities or sports available to me, driven by not as much as the thrill of jumping off an airplane, or the technique of piloting a glider, or the sheer unnatural feeling of being in a wind tunnel, but mostly because of the feeling of physical and spiritual freedom I get every time, and the mind reset I experience after one second of being my own body’s lead in three dimensions.