As my internship at Aurora Cooperative kicked off this summer I was filled with excitement and anticipation for the upcoming months of learning and experience to come. As my week of orientation began I realized that Aurora Cooperative was going to be different from what I initially expected as I assumed my place would be at the bottom of totem pole. To my surprise we were quickly introduced to a culture where everyone has an important role and needs each other to function efficiently.
As a member of the grain team, I was quickly introduced to many roles and tasks that I did not anticipate being entrusted with. For example, I am currently creating a book of business for a market in Lexington. Due to potential financial implications associated with it, I assumed that only upper management completed tasks like this. But with total faith in my ability to develop this area of business, they sent me to work tracking down potential customers. Quickly I learned that people can be very hesitant to change who they do business with. It’s not always about who has the better price. It is also about developing trust and relationships with not only producers but end users as well. This is easier said than done as many producers are very loyal to the people they are doing business with.
Aside from developing a market in Lexington, I have been given the task of updating the daily ethanol bid sheet for our merchandisers. This needs to be done every morning so our team has reliable bids and information to provide to our customers. With very little background knowledge at hand, I had to quickly learn some of the ins and outs of the grain business to complete this task daily. Not only has this increased my knowledge base, but it has also increased my confidence when talking to producers and helping them make marketing decisions for their operation. I look forward to the remainder of the summer and all that I will experience while working for the Aurora Cooperative.