I am an international commodities trader specializing in frozen animal proteins. I work in Atlanta, Georgia, for one of the largest exporters from the United States and we are also one of the largest importers in Russia. I manage our sales for the Middle East and North Africa, and I deal with all the major meat and poultry producers; names that you may be familiar with, including Tyson Foods, Perdue, and JBS.
There's a huge dichotomy in my day-to-day life. Half of the time I'm speaking Hindi to a South Indian meat procurer in Dubai or Farsi to an Afghani chicken trader in Kandahar. The other half of the time, I'm talking SEC football and negotiating with a salesperson in Springdale, Arkansas. I guess you could say it's causing a bit of an internal identity crisis!
My degree’s concentration in global economy and management was extremely crucial to this sort of work. Before my interview at the first trading company I worked for here in Atlanta, I studied the notes I took from my manufacturing and service operations management courses in international trade and management. Needless to say, they were impressed and the material I learned is still applicable to my day-to-day business.
In college, I would have never imagined that I would be where I am today. I wouldn't have imagined being in Atlanta, and I most certainly wouldn't have imagined selling frozen chicken for a living. Explore every opportunity that your network exposes you to, and remember that you're never too good for a job. If you have to start in the mail room, start there. Make friends with the big wigs and flaunt your personality. In the end, your personality and voice are who they hire, not your resume.