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What is the training REALLY like at RIFP?

At Richmond International Forest Products, we pride ourselves on our passion for going above and beyond in everything that we do – And that starts at the very beginning with our training program.


Over the course of twelve to eighteen weeks, our trainees are ingrained in and exposed to every facet of our business. Starting in the operations department, and onward to our traffic and logistics team, to helping one of our senior traders as a trader assistant, our trainees will learn everything from and be a driving force for success for our operations and traffic teams, all while building a backbone understanding of all that our back of house teams do to support the trade floor.


While that is all easy to say on this end, let’s get some perspective from the folks currently in those roles. In this blog post, learn from the perspectives of Ethan Cochran and Leah Tolley, two of our current trader trainees.


What was the experience like?

“One thing that's been great is putting everything together from working in admin in the back to now as a trader assistant, and putting everything together that we learned in class into actually helping the traders make their trades,” said Leah.

“When we first started here, we were doing our six weeks in admin. We also had the opportunity to work with senior traders here during our training,” said Ethan. “We learned a variety of different things, whether it be from tally to board footage, as well as just kind of the first introductory calls that we make and everything in between. I just thought that was a great experience for us to see the value of our training with senior traders as well as get to know one another from the beginning.”


What was a memorable experience for you?

“I think one thing that I found the most useful is sitting in on calls with traders,” said Leah. “We were able to listen to mills and customers and hear what they had to say and kind of hear how those conversations, whether it be about the trade or about getting to know the customers, how that all came together and how important it is to know your customers, and be able to talk to them.”

“I think from a bigger picture standpoint, starting in admin, moving into traffic and then into trade or assistant roles, having the whole picture, at least a glimpse of it from our time in each department and admin,” said Ethan. “[Then your time in traffic] we're just, we're really getting a great glimpse at every piece of this business so when we are on the phones one day, we will be able to have a great view of how everything works. If things arise where we need help from a certain individual, we know exactly where to go, as well as having a relationship with an individual who can help. I think just the entire progression of this trader training program has been a strong one for us all.”

What is your advice for anyone coming into the training program?

“Just in general come to work each day with a great attitude and great effort. Everything else will take care of itself, said Ethan. “The questions you think you may want to ask at the beginning, you will get answered and then even more will pop up as you make your stops along the trader training program.”

“Ask as many questions as possible,” said Leah. “All the traders out on the floor and everyone in admin is willing to help you get through your training process. One thing that I learned is no matter where you are out on the trade floor, whether it be there for one year, five years or 20 years, you're always going to be learning. So, lean on those that have been out there for longer and continue to ask questions.”


Ready to apply or have questions? Email Ash at for more information. 


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