Through the EVOLVE SERIES, we, the Media Committee, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, strive to exhibit what it takes to excel at the rich internship roles offered by through IIFT. We hope this series would be extremely useful for aspirants and also to all students to envisage a right headstart into their SIP!
In today's interview, we have Aman Gupta with us from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade's Class of 2021! Before we hop on to his interview, here's a brief of his profile:
Internship Company: Louis Dreyfus Company - One of the big 4 companies in the agricultural commodity trade sector and a legacy recruiter for IIFT
Internship Role: The role offered to me was LDC’s coveted trade role in the cotton department.
Background: I completed my graduation in Business Economics from SGTB Khalsa College of Delhi University where I studied subjects like international economics, international finance, etc. With time I started to gain interest in International Trade, which prompted me to join IIFT.
Hobbies: I am a big movie buff and love reading books about fantasy, mythology and history
How did you prepare for this role?
Trade role at LDC required me to understand how the physical commodity market functions and to understand the Supply-Demand dynamics of these commodities.
To prepare for the role, I started reading about the commodity markets, how different commodities behave, what are the popular metrics studied to analyze the performance of a commodity, etc.
Trade subjects taught in IIFT and regular discussions with experienced professors and previous interns also helped me to understand the industry better and what would be the expectations from me as an intern.
Your selection process experience for this company:
LDC had a well-structured Internship selection process. We first gave an aptitude test, followed by a case study regarding commodity trading and submit it within an hour.
This was followed by the interview round, where this case study was discussed in detail and more situations were given to us regarding the case study to judge our thought process and to see whether we can think on our feet. Interns were selected on basis of this interaction.
Your overall experience during the internship:
As a fresher, I was excited to enter the corporate world with this internship, but with the spread of coronavirus, the environment was a bit apprehensive. During this period, LDC HRs were in constant touch with us and reassuring us, which was a sigh of relief in the given environment LDC ensured that our internship experience was as authentic as possible given the constraints.
Our internship started with an induction session where we were provided with our project titles and were assigned mentors from the company. Flexible timings of LDC helped in maintaining a balance between personal responsibilities during the pandemic and the internship work.
We were allowed to set up our work schedule and periodic reviews were set up to ensure we were on the right track with the project. Mentors and HR remained in constant touch with us helping us navigate through our project and responsibilities.
LDC has a relatively flat structure, everyone in the company is approachable and curiosity is encouraged, which is the kind of environment I thrive in.
Logic stands supreme in the discussions of commodity trading, and everything we assert needs to be backed by proofs and solid logic.
Technical skills used:
My business economics background helped me during the course of the internship. My project involved studying a large amount of data collected from different sources, cleaning that data, extracting critical insights from the data which is then used to build statistical models to forecast important metrics.
My experience with economics, statistics, and software like MS Excel and SPSS made my life significantly easy in this respect. Knowledge of Regression analysis, time series forecasting, Excel tools like VBA, Macros, Pivot Table, Slicer, and Trade Resources like Trade Map, etc., all of them played an important role during my internship
Factors which you think got you the PPO:
LDC values people who are open to new ideas and can find innovative solutions to traditional problems.
My natural tendency to ask questions and looking at things from different perspectives resonated with my mentors and commodity heads at LDC which paved the way for me to bag a PPO.
How has IIFT helped you in this internship?
Trade Courses taught in IIFT introduced me to the world of international trade, and were a good starting point for me to prepare for my internship.
Projects we did as part of the curriculum and feedback from professors prepared us in advance for what is expected from us during the internship. Alumni Network of IIFT also helped us in connecting with distinguished alumni working in the trade sector, who were kind enough to help us during our internship.
Also, the trade resources provided to us by IIFT proved to be very helpful during the internship.