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.