Whether you’re coming straight from college or from another industry, AIFP’s one-of-a-kind paid trader training program provides twelve months of career training, support, and mentorship designed to help you build your own business. In today’s blog, our current rookie traders offer some advice about what you need to know to succeed in the program!
Whether you’re coming straight from college or from another industry or position, the AIFP paid trader training program is likely more thorough than anything you’ve experienced before. In fact, rookie traders are often surprised by how many people contribute to the training process. Rather than having a select few people be in charge of your on-the-job training, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from a wide variety of traders and admin team members. This means that you’re given many resources and many perspectives to help you cultivate your skills.
While the ultimate goal is to help you be a successful commodity trader, you won’t focus exclusively on trading tips and sales tactics. You’ll also need a strong knowledge of the building materials industry and a strong understanding of how each department at AIFP works. In addition to sales skills, you’ll learn technical skills like how to calculate board footage, how to assess risk, and how to find rates. You’ll also learn how to analyze and predict changes in the lumber market to better serve your customers.
At the end of the day, AIFP spends a great deal of time, energy, and money cultivating this apprenticeship program with the understanding that it’s a long-term investment in your success and the success of the company.
While twelve months may feel like a long time, there’s so much to learn when becoming a commodity trader. Not only are you learning everything you need to become a lumber industry expert, but you’re also learning how AIFP works and how to effectively sell a commodity. That means that you’ll have to commit a great deal of time, energy, and effort into the program.
Expect long days where you’re learning a lot of information at one time. In addition to the more formal training sessions, you’ll also spend a lot of time on the floor watching how senior traders solve problems, support their customers, and structure their business. This means that you have to constantly be paying attention so that you can get the most out of your training, and you’ll likely need to spend some time on your own going over what you learned during the day, reflecting on what you saw on the trading floor, and determining what questions you need to ask to fill in any gaps in your understanding.
Because the training is so thorough and demanding, you’ll benefit from being as organized as possible. That means taking extensive notes during the day and making sure that you’re able to quickly find the information you need later. If this isn’t something that comes naturally to you, you may need to spend time at the end of each day going over what you learned while it’s still fresh in your mind and creating a word document where you type up your notes every day. That way, you can easily use keywords and titles to organize what you need so that when you are trading on your own, you have an easy way of finding exactly what you need. This will also help you better internalize everything you’re learning so that it sticks.
Learning a lot of information at once can be overwhelming, so it’s important to remember that no one expects you to become a successful lumber trader overnight. Mastery takes time, and you have to have patience and understand that the program lasts for twelve months for a reason. If you start to feel like the process is making you feel like you don’t know anything, remember how important soft skills will be in your career. You may not already understand the ins and outs of the building materials market, but you do already have critical thinking skills that will serve you once it’s time to start analyzing the market yourself. You may not know all the best sales strategies, but you do have the empathy and communication skills that will help you build relationships with clients.
If you’re looking for sales jobs in Portland, look no further than AIFP. We’re proud to count ourselves among the companies that hire recent grads, and our paid apprenticeship program is an amazing opportunity to start your career in a place that’s committed to your success. Send us your resume today at email@example.com and browse our blog to learn everything from why you should apply to our paid trader training program to what it’s like to work at AIFP.
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