What do you do day-to-day in your job?
My day to day job is wide ranging and changes as I learn new skills, business processes and gain exposure to the wider operations of Cargill.
I started out as a Financial Management Trainee and as such gained valuable experience working on our crush plants in Liverpool and Hull. It was there where I learned how to account for the operations of the business and acknowledge the complexity and scale of Cargill’s operations.
As well as ensuring the financial records are reliable and accurate on a daily and monthly basis, I also check the credit worthiness of customers and help control our exposure. This ensures there are no defaults or deteriorating payment patterns for our customers.
As part of the two year programme I was lucky enough to be assigned a 6 month placement in our Hungarian Offices in Budapest where I could use the knowledge gained in the UK and apply better working practices to a different location and business environment. There, I focussed on making sure the trading position was reported and kept within the risk tolerances. I also worked on a few projects evaluating silo performance, the trade execution performance and also the overall trading results of all the divisions.
What qualifications do you have?
8 GCSEs grade A
1 GCSE grade B
4 A levels grades ABBC
BSC Management (2.1) from The University of St Andrews
Studying for CIMA qualification
What other jobs have you had?
I used to work as a Finance Analyst in London for the Auction House; Sotheby’s. There I would analyse auction sales, monitor and help control costs, and provide information to senior management on various aspects of the operations. Although the business is interesting from and Artistic perspective (Art being something I am very passionate about), I fell now that there was a lack of engagement in the business process. What I enjoy about working in the Agricultural business is the scale and opportunities for improvement of the supply chain, and the constant awareness of market trends.
What other jobs or career path did you consider?
After university I considered teaching, which would have enabled me to travel and also feel the benefits of working in a creative dynamic environment. I think it is very rewarding to educate the younger generation and teach them new skills, perspectives and have fun during the process.
What do you like most about your job and its challenges?
I like that my job is varied in terms of what can be investigated and analysed. Also, as a management accountant I am positioned between the trading side of the agricultural commodity business, and also the processing side from the crush plants. I enjoy the challenging environments in both sides of the business, one working on efficiency, the other working on profit maximisation.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I would like to be a Financial Controller in 10 years’ time. I have enjoyed travelling during my recent career. Given that Cargill has many offices around the world I would like to move with them and face the challenges of working in different locations. There is clear progression within Cargill that allow this development.
What one piece of advice would you give people trying to get into the farming and food industry?
My one piece of advice is to engage yourself with the agriculture market. Read newspapers, watch stock markets and also enjoy being a part of a multi-faceted business. There is so much mobility if you know the markets, the trends, the supply chains, the logistics and there are so many opportunities that can be explored in an agricultural career.