By Rachael Anderson, University of Minnesota Senior
This summer I was a Management Trainee Intern with the Cargill Feed and Nutrition U.S. Business. I worked in the Customer Operations department, specifically with the freight team and the different trucking companies that they hire to move ingredients and feeds. Through my projects I worked to prioritize the carriers effectively for business impact and worked with those that required more immediate attention to improve the way that they bill Cargill as well as what they provide for route and load information. The Accounts Payable team and many other functions of the business benefitted from a streamlined billing process. By working with our six largest carriers I had the opportunity to affect the payables of over 50% of our business. I created a detailed plan by carrier and business impact that outlined the rest of the 40% of the business to be completed.
Another unique part of my internship was that I was tagged to three of the feed processing plants across the United States. Those locations were Abilene, Texas, Mentone, Indiana, and Mt. Joy, Pennsylvania. I provided much needed support and data to the teams to help make effective decisions around freight scheduling, reducing freight cost, and how to best serve customers. Abilene, Texas saw benefits in shipping consistency, load size and freight cost per order. They have also begun to make significant changes to how they do business.
Another project that I worked on was to review and improve the interplant freight process. I interviewed key stakeholders and developed a comprehensive and detailed standard operating procedure to fix gaps in the process and have the ability to hold employees accountable. To create buy-in and motivation behind the process I developed training materials and educated key members on roll out and expectations.
One of the things I had not expected to do during my internship was to trade corn futures. It was a fun, educational learning experience that was a contest between a few interns across the United States. Even though I had very little knowledge of commodity markets coming into the program, I did a lot of work outside of the office to learn and used the many resources available to me. Though it was challenging, it was one of the greatest learning opportunities I have had.
I appreciated how organized the internship program was at Cargill Feed & Nutrition. They gave me a lot of responsibility from the very first day and trusted in my abilities. They were always available to help if I had questions but encouraged me to have faith in my own decisions. Because of my experience at Cargill I have learned to trust in my own abilities and to take risks.