If you’re considering a career in commodity trading, you’re likely wondering: How do I get there? To help answer this critical question, we’ve interviewed 5 of our own traders. How did they find AIFP, what made them want to apply, and what do they love about their jobs? In this edition of the AIFP blog, we’ll get an insider’s look into these very questions.
Experience in lumber sales and commodity trading can help traders land a new job, but thanks to our Trader Development Program, prior industry experience isn’t necessary. To our leadership team, the most important hiring considerations are personality and fit. We look for recruits who show a unique combination of grit, determination, persistence, work ethic, perseverance, creativity, and energy.
Meet Kyle McWhirter, who’s been an AIFP trader for the past 4 years. He found out about AIFP through the president’s wife, Michelle Vranizan, and wanted to apply because of the earning potential. He had no prior experience in the industry, but was a fast learner who showed the drive necessary to learn the job.
What does Kyle like best about working for AIFP? The potential AIFP has to dominate the industry, the energy and expertise of his co-workers, and the earning potential.
Meet Nick Klohs, an AIFP trader since 2001. He found out about AIFP through his dad, who is a lumber broker. Once he saw the AIFP trading floor and learned how much opportunity there was, he was hooked. Prior to working at AIFP, he had worked in a lumber yard, had driven a delivery truck, and had been a handyman, but had no direct trading experience.
What does Nick like best about working for AIFP? In his words, he says, “Every day, it’s up to me to be productive, meet my goals, build relationships, and make money. Taking full responsibility for my actions is empowering. There are so many parts of our business that are changing every day, so it’s endlessly interesting and mentally stimulating. Being connected to mills and customers and feeling the heartbeat of business in North America is exciting and makes me feel relevant.”
Meet Mason Virnig, a trader who’s worked at AIFP for 2 and a half years. He learned about the industry from a family member. He received the company president’s number and interviewed with him while he was at Oregon State University. He had no prior experience in the industry, but wanted to find a career that he could build right away. AIFP struck him as a company that was full of growth opportunity—and he was right.
His favorite thing about working for AIFP? The people, the support, and the opportunity to grow his own business. He loves the flexibility he’s given; if he can fit a new idea into his business plan, he has the support he needs from the company to make it happen.
Meet Bill Culver, who has worked as an AIFP trader since 1998. He found out about AIFP while working at Olive Garden, where an AIFP employee recruited him. Bill wanted an international sales job with an Oregon-based company. He didn’t have any industry experience, but quickly learned the ropes.
Some of Bill’s favorite things about working for AIFP? AIFP has the largest trading floor in North America, which to Bill, means opportunity. Plus, he loves working with others in a fun environment.
Meet Brian Kirwan, an AIFP trader for the past 6 years. Before coming to AIFP, he had 25 years of experience working in lumber sales. While working in the industry, he kept running into AIFP’s website, and became interested in working for the company. Brian was impressed with the size of the trading floor. The tenure of the traders spoke volumes to him; it was clear that AIFP offered a great place to work and a great living.
What does Brian like best about working for AIFP? The perks and the people! In his own words, “It’s never a dull moment with the characters here.”
As you can see from these stories, each trader has a unique career path. If you think commodity trading is right for you, reach out to us and we’d love to talk more.
Up for the challenge? We'll give you the tools to excel. AIFP is continually growing. We recruit new traders year-round.
There is no substitute for hard work. If you really want to make and run a business here, you have all the tools available to you here.Billy Culver Trader, European Products Department Head
I really enjoy the freedom to create your own customer base and build a business trading the products you want to trade. While being the hardest thing I have ever done, being a trader has also been the most rewarding!Alex Schilling Trader