Forge and Grow
CALS students gain experience with commodity trading internship
Hands-on experience, and finding a friend to share these opportunities with, have been essential for Dustin Winston and Cole Lickley. From classes to internships, brotherhood in their fraternity or finding their home in the University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), the two have shared many opportunities in their quest to become commodities brokers.
An internship at a Chicago, Illinois-based financial services company provided the experience in both economics and trade that will serve them well in their future careers.
Both U of I seniors majoring in finance in the College of Business and Economics and agribusiness in CALS, Lickley and Winston spent summer 2018 in the dairy and foods group at INTL FCStone, a Fortune 500 company that provides clients with a comprehensive range of financial services and tools.
“We did a lot of analytical work to support those who were trading, and while we were there the company actually hit a billion-dollar mark,” Winston said.
“We had projects that we would work on both individually and as a team, but I think the part that surprised us was the educational part,” Lickley said. “We had a lot of opportunities to learn about the markets, learn about futures and options, learn about the actual technicals of trading.”
Passion for Commodities
Lickley and Winston both have interests in working within commodity brokerage. Originally from Middleton, Winston came to U of I as an architecture major before realizing agriculture is where he belonged. He hopes to have a career in the dairy industry and the INTL FCStone internship aligned with what he envisions for his future career.
Growing up in Jerome with close family ties to the livestock industry, Lickley’s passion is production livestock. After this summer’s internship, Lickley is interested in working for INTL FCStone or a similar company.
Both approached the internship looking to put the agricultural business and commodity risk management curriculum they have learned at U of I into action and to see if what they thought they were passionate about held true.
“I had thought that commodity risk management or commodity brokerage was the way I wanted to go and so I really wanted to intern with a company that could give me that experience and show me if I wanted to do this line of work and I think that’s exactly what happened,” Lickley said. “All the people we worked with loved their jobs and gave us really good insight.”
During their time at U of I Winston and Lickley have pushed each other to try new activities as members of the of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, as interns in the U of I president’s office and through their involvement in both the Collegiate Farm Bureau and as presidents of the Food and Agricultural Business Club.
They have also been heavily involved in the Barker Capital Management and Trading Program, which focuses on risk and money management through hands-on learning.
Lickley and Winston will both graduate in May 2019 and have started studying for the Series 3 Exam, which would qualify them to trade for a company similar to INTL FCStone in the future. The hands-on opportunities that Lickley and Winston have found in CALS helped them find their true passion, and a lifelong friendship.
“It was a really good stepping stone as far as being able to relate what we’ve been studying the past two years here,” Winston said.
Article by Hannah Doumit, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Published in October 2018