Lisa Tronchetti Internship

Lisa Tronchetti
Agricultural Business and Economics
Jefferson, IA
Gavilon LLC (Formerly ConAgra Trade Group)
Omaha, NE

Describe your internship responsibilities:

During the summer I assisted the Director of Economic Research with research projects and analysis of USDA reports. Along with these responsibilities, I was also provided the opportunity to perform my own research and analysis on different topics. I was then able to report my findings to the senior traders on the floor during War Room meetings. Additionally, I was also responsible for updating data sheets on a weekly and monthly basis.

Along with my economic research, I was also taught the basics of grain merchandising and financial trading.

What did you enjoy most about this internship?
The thing that I enjoyed most about this internship was the work environment. The trade floor always had something going on and I was able to learn a lot from just listening to the traders that sat around me. I was also working along side my manager at nearly all times. This allowed for many learning opportunities thanks to the willingness of my manager to always answer my questions and show me what he was working on both in economic research and financial trading.

It was also great getting to work in an environment like the trade floor because it provided me an opportunity to network with people in all levels of the company.

How has this experience impacted your future career plans?
This experience has made me want to work in an intense and fun environment, like the trade floor, even more. After this summer I realized I could never work in a cubicle environment!

The Economic Research internship also made me think more seriously about obtaining a Masters degree in Economics to help strengthen my skills.

What resources did you utilize to obtain this internship?
I went to the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Career Fair last year. As a freshman I was not expecting to find an internship and was there mainly as a class assignment. However, I did take a well-prepared resume that Ag & Life Sciences Career Services had helped me with. While there, I stopped by ConAgra's booth and began talking to some of the traders about their internship opportunities. After my first interview went well, I prepared for my second by doing a mock interview with Mike Gaul in the College Career Services Office. The mock interview experience helped me to be much more relaxed for my second interview in Omaha.

What advice would you offer to other students seeking similar internships?
First and foremost, go to the career fairs (even if you are a freshman) and actually talk to the employers. Make sure that you are confident when you are talking to them both at the career fairs and in your interviews. I was told numerous times this summer that my confidence both in my interviews and while working made me appear much older than I actually was.

It is also important to look for things that will challenge you and get you out of your comfort zone. This summer I had to move to the biggest city I had ever lived in where I knew no one. Even though it did worry me at first it turned out to be a great experience and exactly what I needed after my first year at college.

Classes I would recommend taking for an economic research internship include any economics courses (especially 101 and 102 for starters) and statistics (226 and 326).