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Meet Cai Chen

Cai is recognized in the Agricultural Economics Department for his hard work and engagement in the professional world. Cai has attended the Ag Futures of America(AFA)Leaders Conference each year inKansasCity completing TracksI, II, and III and was accepted into the AFA Food Science Institute in Chicago, IL last year. As a student in the Data Mine, he worked with John Deere and Beck's Hybrids. Cai is also completing the AGEC Undergraduate Honors Program, completed in the CME Marketing Competition, and served on the Boiler Success Team Student Advisory Panel. In his 'spare time' he also worked with Dr. Feng in a food science lab!

What attracted you to the company/position?

"Archer Daniel Midland (ADM) is the one of the largest publicly traded agricultural companies in the world. I wanted to learn from the best/brightest so interning with ADM as a Grain Merchandiser was only nature. I really enjoy trading stocks/options and wanted to go into a career of trading commodities."

Tell us about your overall experience working there?

"Overwhelming positive experience interning with ADM for two summers. Last summer I interned with ADM in Minneapolis, Mn where I learned how corn, soybean, wheat, soybean meal, and fertilizer was traded at ADM. I got a lot of exposure to the agricultural cash market and how grain moves throughout the Midwest, whether that was through barges, rails, or trucks. I learned a lot! The people at ADM are amazing and are always willing to give you honest feedback and take time out of the day to teach you about future spreads and what basis is."

What did your typical day look like as an intern?

"I worked 5 days a week from 7:00am – 4:30pm. Occasionally after work some of the employees would go to happy hour where I got the opportunity to network and learn about the different career opportunities at ADM."

What did you learn from this role?

"Purdue did a great job teaching me different hard skills to succeed in any job, whether that was learning how to create a business plan or analyze big data. This role improved my soft skills in communication and collaboration with others. I also got to learn how grain is traded and processed into oil/flour/feed/etc."

What is a piece of advice that you can share to students who are seeking an internship?

"Purdue is a fantastic school with a lot of opportunities and graduates. Connect with alumni, go to career fairs, and be open to unique internship experiences."

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