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Supply Chain Management Internships

Nicholas Burge, FreightConnections

Obtaining my Internship

I first started looking for internships in the spring semester of 2012.  I had two different companies show interest but they were not what I was looking for.  After searching for the rest of the semester and into the summer, I began to get nervous.  I made an appointment to meet with Jessie Pondell, who was able to give me the names of a few internships that had been contacting her about needing interns.  After researching these companies, I gave her a list of my top choices and she was able to secure an interview with my top pick, FreightConnections.  From there I succeeded in landing the internship and have been at FreightConnections since the start of Fall 2012 semester.

Why I Chose FreightConnections

I was very intrigued by FreightConnections, as the company is only a little over one year old, and they have a new service that I was not aware of.  They help shippers and carriers of all sorts of freight connect directly with each other.  Customers can use our site to build a profile of their company which includes things like what type of freight they ship, what type of trucks they have, etc.  We then use a feature we have called AutoMatch to match shippers with appropriate carriers.  It is an extremely beneficial site and is very easy to use.  Not only was I interested in this kind of service, but I was also interested in the fact that the company was new.  I’ve been able to see and be a part of all aspects of starting a new business such as marketing and sales, and finance and quality assurance.  It’s been a great experience to see what it takes to start a new company.

Responsibilities

I’ve had several different jobs since interning at FreightConnections.  I’ve had to enter new leads into our database, call customers, go through the website and look for problems that need to be fixed, and help with marketing our company.  There really is no “typical day” for me, which is something I really enjoy.

Advice to Future College of Business Students

I’m sure everyone has heard this before, but start looking for an internship early.  I started looking at the beginning of the spring semester hoping to have something by the start of summer, and I was not able to start an internship anywhere until the start of the following semester.  It’s never too early to start looking.  Go to the career fair and networking night.  Join clubs and get involved on campus.  Anything you can do to get your name out there and make business connections is going to be of great help to you in the future.

Erik Peterson, Mechanical Desk Co-op, Mercury Marine

Obtaining My Internship

 When I first applied to the college of business I was required to attend dining with professionals. During this event I was placed with Brian Quella, a buyer at Mercury Marine. We discussed the co-op opportunities Mercury offered and the requirements for the job. Two years later I had completed the requirements and spoke with Brian again at the career fair. Two weeks later I had an offer from Mercury to be their next Mechanical desk co-op.

 My First Three Weeks

 Coming into my co-op I was very nervous because I was unsure of the work I was going to be doing. When I arrived, the previous co-op intern trained me on all the tasks I was going to acquire when he left. All the information I was provided was very overwhelming and hard to retain if it wasn’t mentioned more than once. After about three weeks of training I felt comfortable working on my own with the daily tasks I was to achieve. After about three months I was able to learn to use Mercury’s ERP systems efficiently, and finish the tasks that I was required to achieve in a day

My Responsibilities

 I am responsible for the materials desk within the purchasing group. I purchase fasteners such as screws, nuts, bolts, and brackets for the direct manufacturing side of the business. This position used to be a full-time global supply chain analyst position but was transferred to provide an opportunity for students to gain real world experience before they graduate. This position also comes with a lot of responsibility to keep the factory supplied with parts so the lines are not shut down and workers are not sent home.

Incorporating My UWO Coursework

The most important class that helped me with my experience at Mercury Marine was Manufacturing Planning and Control. This class was a supply chain based class that taught me about the essentials of a manufacturing business. Every week I have to analyze about 1000 pages of Material Requirements Plans, and if it wasn’t for that class I would have had no idea what I was even analyzing. Advanced Business Composition was also a class that prepared me for this co-op. I learned the correct ways to format business emails as well as structure business presentations.

The Most Important thing I have learned

The most important thing I have learned while working for Mercury is that you need to be confident in what you do to be successful. Confidence comes with experience and experience comes from hard work, mistakes, and determination.

Nicholas Hermus, Inside Sales/Purchasing Agent at Consolidated Electrical Distributors

Obtaining My Internship

I began looking for a Supply Chain Management internship in the winter and spring of 2012-2013 to make sure I had plenty of time to find a suitable one before the requirement would come upon me. After discussing my field of study with a graduate student I had known previously, it was mentioned that an opportunity had opened up at Consolidated Electrical Distributors in Appleton and that the company was looking to integrate an internship program for the first time. I then contacted the site manager and provided him with a resume along with a cover letter and it wasn’t long until I received an interview and was eventually presented with an offer that I gratefully accepted. 

Challenges I have had to overcome at my internship

After accepting the position of inside sales/purchasing agent at Consolidated Electrical Distributors it was apparent that I was going to have to learn a great deal about the electrical field and the parts associated with it. Having no prior background to any electrical program prior to this internship, it was very challenging deciding what levels of inventory to stock and the reasoning behind it. Through hours of practice and research through both the internet and asking customers and employees about different parts throughout the field, I was able to gain a basic background of knowledge I could apply to my work. To this point I am nowhere close to mastering the area of information but I have a much better foothold on the awareness than I did 6 months prior going into the program. The struggle of not knowing the information is much less, but with practice it gets better and better every day as I become more versatile throughout the positions at CED. 

Responsibilities

Due to the fact that we are a rather small company of only 7 employees at our location I have a great deal of responsibilities that I am expected to carry out on a daily basis. The most important would be discussing with a small team how inventory levels are stocked and which parts have the highest demand to get purchased at that point in time. I also have a crucial role in the inside sales position at  my company answering phone calls from customers that are placing orders that I then have to organize, type, print, and send to the warehouse to get picked and set for delivery or pick up. Any flaw in these duties results in a higher workload for one of my coworkers or an upset customer that might not receive their parts at the designated time, so I take great pride in the effort put forth each and every day. 

Rebecca Diedrich, Mercury Marine

How did you obtain your internship?
I obtained my internship through networking. During the Fall semester APICS had a meeting where Mercury came to present. At the presentation I was speaking to a fellow student who worked at Mercury and he told me that they were hiring for the upcoming semester and to attend the Career Fair. Since my current co-op at that time had been coming to an end I took the advice and went to talk to Mercury at the Career Fair. After networking and providing the representatives with my resume I was brought on site to have an interview and was fortunate enough to be offered a position.

Describe some of your responsibilities and/or projects.
I have a few main responsibilities at Mercury. Every day I am responsible for generating reports that reflect backorders for specific markets. These are crucial for the area that I am in because one of the main goals is to reduce backorders. On top of that responsibility I also work daily with MRP and planning/distributing product. Some other responsibilities I have are interfacing our two ERP systems, and putting together our bi-weekly Supply Chain update report where VP’s/ Directors/ Managers and Analysts get together to talk about the top backorders of the week. One project that I am currently beginning is working towards getting my Green Belt certification which is a very cool opportunity to be offered.

What is the most important thing you learned while working at your internship?
The most important thing I have learned thus far, is communication. It is very important to always ask questions if you’re ever unsure. Everyone that I work with always says it’s better to ask questions than struggle through a project. Another topic that relates to communication is having an open-relationship with your manager. If I ever have an issue I am fortunate that I am comfortable enough to just go and talk to my manager. A good example of this is if more work is wanted; communicating with your manager about work load and asking for more opportunities and responsibilities shows that you have initiative and are willing to learn. I believe this is a very beneficial skill to have.

What advice do you have for students who are just beginning their internship search?
One thing that I would give as advice is to never be too shy or timid. At the beginning of my College of Business career I thought that Networking Night/Career Fair/Dining with Professionals weren't worth my time. I wasn't confident enough in myself to initiate a conversation with a professional from a company. This is the biggest mistake because opportunities could be passed up without even knowing it. Most employers know and expect students to be nervous at these events. Once you do it a few times it starts to become a breeze. The phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ fits well here.

Mike Romenesko, Distribution Intern at Schreiber Foods

Obtaining My Internship

I’m currently the Distribution Intern at Schreiber Foods in Green Bay, WI. My first experience with Schreiber was at an APICS meeting. A few Schreiber partners came to speak to us and I remember noticing how passionate they were about their jobs and the company they worked for. That really stood out to me and I realized that I also wanted to feel that way about my job and from that point on I wanted to work at Schreiber. When I came across the job posting from Schreiber for their Distribution Internship I jumped at the opportunity right away and applied for the position.

My First Weeks

My first few weeks were a little over whelming but looking back I feel they went well overall. There was a lot of new information to absorb but I was fortunate enough to have the previous intern there for three weeks to help me get up to speed on everything. One of the things that helped me transition into the new role was setting up one on one meetings with the members of my team so I could get to know them. After those meetings I felt more comfortable with everyone and I’m now okay with approaching them if I need anything. After about three weeks I had a good grasp on what was expected of me and felt comfortable with my responsibilities.

My Responsibilities

I am responsible for supporting the distribution team with daily reporting tasks and different projects that they are working on. One of the things I focused a lot of time on early in my internship was looking at the reports I’m sending out and making sure that they are as clear and useful as possible. If I feel that some of the reports can be improved upon I will look for ways to make them better. At Schreiber they don’t treat you like an intern and they expect you to use self-initiative to go above and beyond what is expected of you.

The Most Important Thing I've Learned So Far

The most important thing I’ve learned so far at Schreiber is to really get the most out of every experience as you possibly can. Write down what you are doing every day and take notes when you are in meetings. The time that you spend with your company is usually short and you need to take advantage of every opportunity you get to learn something new. You really need to buy into the values and beliefs of the company, learn their language, ask a lot of good questions and most importantly show that you can contribute to the company.

Ashley Ott, Warehouse Performance Optimization Intern, Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Ashley Ott

About me

My name is Ashley Ott and I am a fifth year student at UW Oshkosh. I am double majoring in Supply Chain Management and Accounting. The internship I have is with Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Neenah WI as a Warehouse Performance Optimization team member.

Describe some of your responsibilities and/or projects

The main part of my responsibilities includes collection large portions of data, then organizing and analyzing it. In the start of my internship I traveled with the team to implement a new system at our distribution centers and warehouses. The system helps us track operator productivity and a number of other data collections. Now that the system is implemented, we can take that data and find new opportunities for improvement. My other responsibilities are being an assistant for the WMS team who we work closely with.

What challenges have you had to overcome at your internship?

There have been a couple of challenges I have had to overcome since starting my internship. Mainly getting accustomed to the vast amounts of new information and learning the systems that KC uses. The first two weeks felt extremely overwhelming with the new information and reports that I needed to run but after a short time I became more comfortable. Another challenge I had to overcome was the understanding the culture of the company. This was a challenge that was easily solved as I become more confident in my role.

How has your internship experience impacted your major selection or career path?

I believe one of the great things about having an internship before graduation is to help you determine if you are on the career path that is fit for you. It is very different to learn about a career in school then actually experiencing it. I believe this internship has helped me to confirm that I am on the correct career path and have chosen the major that fits me best. I am getting to use the skills we learn in school and enjoy my job very much.    

John Cismoski, Supply Chain and Operations Intern, Green Bay Packaging

John Cismoski


Obtaining my internship

My fall semester of my Junior year I was working for Bemis with the production planning department and decided I wanted to get experience in different aspects of the Supply Chain Major. There were no other Internship options that pertained to my major at Bemis so I began searching Titan Jobs and applying for the positions that interested me. Over Christmas break I mentioned how I was looking for a new position to my family and if they knew of any positions opening up to let me know. A few weeks later my aunt emailed me about an opportunity at Green Bay Packaging and gave me the email an employee in the HR department. I forwarded my resume to the HR department which was followed by an interview, which led to my current position at Green Bay Packaging.

Typical day

A typical day at my internship starts out by collecting all the paper PO’s, packing slips, invoices, work orders, and emergency work orders from the previous day. After I receive the paper documents I log onto our system and manually receive all shipments, verify quantities received, add pricing, and document machines downtime.  I forward all invoices to accounting so they can pay our vendors. After I enter the previous day’s documents I create and call in Purchase Orders per the maintenance department’s request. If an item is needed right away and a vendor has it in stock I will pick up orders with the company van to minimize the plants down time.

Internship seeking advice

When you start looking for an internship use all the resources you have. The University has so many great options including Titan Jobs, Networking night, and career fairs but don’t stop there. Both internships I’ve had I’ve found through either family or friends, and notifying them that you are looking for an internship can lead to opportunities you may not be aware of. Finally don’t be afraid to apply to certain positions because you feel under-qualified, employers know you may not know how to perform certain tasks and have great training programs to get you ready for your job.

Mike Romenesko, Distribution Intern, Schreiber Foods

Mike Romenesko


Overview

My name is Mike Romenesko and I’m a Supply Chain Management major. I’m currently the Distribution Intern at Schreiber Foods in Green Bay, WI. I’m a senior at UW Oshkosh and I plan to graduate from the UW Oshkosh College of Business in December of 2014.

Obtaining my internship

My first experience with Schreiber was at an APICS meeting. A few Schreiber partners came to speak to us and I remember noticing how passionate they were about their jobs and the company they worked for.  That really stood out to me and I realized that I also wanted to feel that way about my job and from that point on I wanted to work at Schreiber. When I came across the job posting from Schreiber for their Distribution Internship I jumped at the opportunity right away and applied for the position.

My first few weeks

My first few weeks were a little over whelming but looking back I feel they went well overall. There was a lot of new information to absorb but I was fortunate enough to have the previous intern there for three weeks to help me get up to speed on everything. One of the things that helped me transition into the new role was setting up one on one meetings with the members of my team so I could get to know them. After those meeting I felt more comfortable with everyone and I’m now okay with approaching them if I need anything. After about three weeks I had a good grasp on what was expected of me and felt comfortable with my responsibilities.

My responsibilities

I am responsible for supporting the distribution team with daily reporting tasks and different projects that they are working on. One of the things I have been focusing a lot of time on early in my internship was looking at the reports I’m sending out and making sure that they are as clear and useful as possible. If I feel that some of the reports can be improved upon I will look for ways to make them better. At Schreiber they don’t treat you like an intern and they expect you to use self-initiative to go above and beyond what is expected of you.

The most important thing I’ve learned so far

The most important thing I’ve learned so far at Schreiber is to really get the most out of every experience as you possibly can. Write down what you are doing every day and take notes when you are in meetings. The time that you spend with your company is usually short and you need to take advantage of every opportunity you get to learn something new. You really need to buy into the values and beliefs of the company, learn their language, ask a lot of good questions and most importantly show that you can contribute to the company.

Nathan Kowalczyk, Customer Inventory Analyst Co-Op, Kimberly Clark

Nathan Kowalczyk


Overview

In the process of acquiring an internship an opportunity with Kimberly-Clark Corporation presented itself. The CO-OP was a six month position in Customer Supply Chain Solutions. Being a Marketing Major I was slightly hesitant to step into a Supply Chain role. After reflection on my decision to take the position I could not be happier. Working within a fortune 500 company opened my eyes to corporate America. Kimberly Clark does an extraordinary job of developing their employee’s talent, enabling their power, and driving first class results. The level of professionalism in KC is unparalleled.

Job details

Customer Supply Chain Solutions, CSCS as it is more commonly known, is divided into teams. These teams are delegated by customer’s example, Walmart, Drug Dollar Target, Costco, and so on. I belong to the Drug Dollar Target team and more specifically Target. Coming into this position my expectations were shaky to say the least. The first few weeks on the Job were tasking and at times overwhelming. There were new processes, responsibilities, concepts, and so much more I needed to learn quickly. I was faced with an unusual position for a CO-OP. To my knowledge most of the CO-OP’s that work for Kimberly Clark focus on project work. I was faced with the task of replacing a woman going on maternity leave. This added a palpable sense of urgency in my training. In the back of my mind I knew she could leave at any point and from there it would be up to me to fill her shoes. My inventory analyst position provided me with a new thought process. Most of the time when problem solving an issue I ended up with more questions than answers. Eventually I used my training and new found knowledge of Lean Principles to identify the core issues, create counter measures, and drive results. Slightly over a month into my CO-OP my trainer left on maternity leave. Presented with the opportunity to sink or swim I chose to swim. I applied all of my new found learnings and transitioned her absence as smoothly as possible. Kimberly Clark has done an exceptional job helping me enable my power. Being one of a four person team, it is gratifying knowing you are the foundation of their business through Target. I have taken away four valuable skills from this CO-OP, time management, stress management, critical thinking, and continuous improvement.

Future

Kimberly Clark is an environment I see myself a part of in my professional career. Although my current position is in supply chain KC works well with their employees to find positions within the company they wish to peruse. It is standard practice within Kimberly Clark that an employee switch positions around the 18 month mark. This would allow me the best opportunity to diversify and expand my knowledge. Through this CO-OP I have seen a pronounced improvement in my confidence, professional skills, and overall knowledge of corporate America. I thoroughly enjoyed working with my team and would highly recommend Kimberly Clark to anyone looking for employment.  

Tim Moffitt, Operations Intern, Speedway

Tim Moffitt


Bio

My name is Tim Moffitt and I am going to be a senior in the fall here at UWO. I am a Human Resource Management Major and was able to be in an Operations internship with Speedway over the summer. I had the opportunity to travel to Indianapolis for the duration.

Alternative ways to find internships

Although UWO is great with providing resources to help us students find jobs/internships (i.e. Networking Night, Career Fair, Dining with Professionals, etc.) I encourage you to also use other resources. The app called GlassDoor lets the user sort through internships by area, major, etc. and I found a lot on there. I encourage you to start looking early in the semester, however, so opportunities don’t escape you. Personally, I found my internship on the Kelley School of Business site (Indiana University). I figured I would try and experience a different area, so found an internship with Speedway in Indianapolis. The Human Resource interns had already been selected, so the contact encouraged me to try for the Operations internship.

Connecting with other interns

As I was in Indianapolis for my internship, I didn’t know all that many people. I was able to connect with other interns in my position right at the beginning. Throughout the internship we had seen each other many times in meetings, leadership classes, and also working on projects and shadowing different positions together. I found this beneficial because we all formed a comradery and were able to approach each other with questions/concerns.

Typical day

My internship is very unique in that I have had several different positions throughout the duration of the summer. At first, I started out learning basic store operations at a Speedway location. Next, I began riding with a District Manager, who was in charge of 12 stores in an area. We dealt with a very wide range of issues and each day was different. I also had the opportunity of riding along with the Regional Marketing Representative, the Regional Human Resource Representative, and a Field Inspector. 

Torie Timmers, Supply Chain Management Intern, Phillips Medisize

Torie Timmers


Obtaining my internship 

I obtained my internship through networking; my internship is located in my hometown of Phillips, WI so I networked in both the Oshkosh area as well as the areas surrounding my hometown. It is important to attend events such as Networking Night and the Career Fair, but it is just as important to network with professionals outside the Fox Valley region. This kept my options open and I was able to choose the location I wanted to intern in.

Connecting with interns

During my internship, my company provided an “Intern Day” for all the interns in the seven company locations (locations within Wisconsin and Minnesota). All the interns were able to come together and share experiences and advice with one another. Being able to communicate and work with other interns is an important aspect of the internship experience. These individuals are experiencing the same learning experience as you; each intern was able to teach me something new that only aided in my professional development. Not only this, but networking with other interns is a great way to make connections all over the state.

Advice for those searching for internships

A piece of advice I would give to those searching for an internship is that you have options all over- not just in Oshkosh. Whether your dream is to have an internship in California, or Northern Wisconsin, networking with individuals from all over is going to be important. I know a lot of people tell you to network and because we are in the Fox Valley, we tend to network with a certain region of people. My one piece of advice is to network with professionals ALL over.

Knowledge and skills learned

The most important thing I learned while interning is that all our business majors are very intertwined within a business. While you may be a marketing major, you need to know about accounting too. The classes they have us take in business school that are not directly correlated with our majors will indeed assist us in the future. I have learned so much about my own major along with all the other majors as well through my internship.

 

Value Added 

            As in many other businesses, many of the individuals who work at Phillips Medisize have been there for 20+ years. Coming in as an intern, I have a fresh perspective to bring to the business. We also have years of computer experience. Many of the experienced workers have way less experience in dealing with technology of this decade. We bring an element of innovation to the business. Be proud of the new techniques you bring to the table, and assist your company where your skills and knowledge can be used.  

Ashley Ott

Ashley Ott
Ashley Ott
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John Cismoski

John Cismoski
John Cismoski
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Mike Romenesko

Mike Romenesko
Mike Romenesko
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Nathan Kowalczyk

Nathan Kowalczyk
Nathan Kowalczyk
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Tim Moffitt

Tim Moffitt
Tim Moffitt
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Torie Timmers

Torie Timmers
Torie Timmers
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Ashley Ott

Ashley Ott
Ashley Ott
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John Cismoski

John Cismoski
John Cismoski
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Mike Romenesko

Mike Romenesko
Mike Romenesko
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Nathan Kowalczyk

Nathan Kowalczyk
Nathan Kowalczyk
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Timothy Moffit

Timothy Moffit
Timothy Moffit
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Torie Timmers

Torie Timmers
Torie Timmers
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More Supply Chain Interns

More Supply Chain Interns
More Supply Chain Interns
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