Entry-Level Natural Gas Scheduler
So I know this isn't exactly "trading" but I couldn't find a commodities section on here and in terms of commodities I like to think of it as my first step in my career to becoming an actual trader. I know when I was applying and trying to search information I was unable to find a lot of commodity trading/scheduling posts (there are a few but most are pretty dated) so thought I'd post something up for those of you interested, feel free to reach out to me with any questions as well and i'll try to answer them best I can although I have just started my journey.
Anyways, I have finally secured myself a full-time position as a natural gas scheduler for a large multi-national O&G company here in the North East United States.
Surprisingly originally applied online to the position after finding a scheduling role that required 0-1 years of actual experience vs the usual 3+ (no alumni connection/networking here and I actually can say I "got a job by applying online" lol) and went through the usual phone screening with HR/recruiter, phone screening with hiring manager, in person interview with hiring manager and HR recruiter, and final interview with the entire head of mid stream trading/ops for NA. All in all very relaxed and enjoyable interview never once had to go through any technical tests and was asked mostly "Fit", "Back Story", and "Why?" driven questions throughout the process.
I will stress that I didn't just wake up and apply to this position with no experience straight out of undergrad, it's something i've wanted for quite a few years. I have been gathering experience with whatever internships I could find throughout undergrad as well as my graduate degree (I went the straight to graduate school from undergrad route, but that's a separate story in and of itself). My best advice to any of you regardless of what you ultimately want to end up doing for your career is to take ANY and EVERY internship opportunity you can possibly get that is even remotely in your field of interest and start as early as possible. Always be working if possible. I worked part-time 20hrs a week during the semester 40hrs during the summer all throughout my entire graduate program and I absolutely recommend this to anyone that has the chance or goes to school in a big city/area with lots of companies. It shows you can balance your work and that you're able to put in long hours and are hard working. Employers eat that kind of stuff up.
Also, and I hate to say this but name does matter, people like seeing Glencore, Shell, BP, Vitol, Mercuria, Trafigura, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan etc. a lot better than "X" boutique, Bobs Bunkering, or Billy's Brokerage Company. I am by no means knocking small firms, heck that's where I started with my first few internships and they often times provide the best learning experiences but Big names grab attention especially when trying to break into other Big name companies. I was able to get a few Big name companies on my resume, not necessarily in "big time" positions but to most people just glancing over your resume those big names stand out. Even if you had to be a transfer pricing analyst or worked in compliance or some BO type role at some big name firm for the summer/one semester (nothing against transfer pricing but it's just honestly not for me) DO IT even if just for that name, heck you can put your were in the finance department and were a financial analyst or something, spice it up as long as you're not flat out lying. Just getting your foot in the door and being humble will get you farther than you can possibly imagine as well and being able to network within the company and try and move up or into a different role is always easier once you're inside.
In terms of getting internships it really comes down to just networking networking networking even more so than full-time positions (my personal opinion). Nobody expects an intern to know jack shit about what they are doing and it's all down to someone just giving you a shot. People like to give other people they know or someone they know knows a shot it's just how the world works. Talk to your friends parents, fellow classmates, alumni etc. I can without a doubt say that every single internship I have had (besides one) was from one of the three categories I mentioned above. Once you've gotten that first internship just keep pushing and applying and trying to get closer to the actual job/industry you want.
It wasn't until my final internship the last semester before I graduated that I actually landed an internship in the commodities field (i.e. ABCD firm). And that internship didn't even have anything to do with actual "trading/ops". It was on the financing side of the business and dealt with a special financing project the firm was trying to role out but it allowed me to gain enough understanding of many of the different terms in the industry and how actual physical commodities trading works (albeit from the financing side). The role was completely by chance through a former alumni who was looking for someone to create models, crunch numbers and run correlation/regressions in excel looking at basis risk/VaR for different routes/commodities and whatever other random things my boss could think of. The position explicitly stated that it would not turn into a full-time offer and would last until whenever my boss had no more use for me. I took it without a second thought and stayed there over 9 months. I watched other interns come and go but kept my head down and kept grinding and learning (the money was also nice think BB but not BB hours). My boss was an ex IB/PE/HF guy and his partner was an ex Oil trader turned Trade Finance guy. Between the two of them I learned a lot.
Anyways they allowed me to stay on after a graduated while I continued to look for a full-time position (yeah I graduated without a FT offer). As I said in the beginning was recently extended official offer few days ago and quickly accepted (I did interview with a few other firms and did receive another offer but rejected it for offer I took that was head and shoulder above the other). All in all well above and beyond what I had expected compensation wise. Not going to break it down here but more or less near low six figure compensation all in with 100% health/vision/dental benefits. Never give up and always keep grinding hard work and perseverance eventually pays off. Cheers.