Internship Spotlight: Eric Hetzel, Mercury Marine

Eric Hetzel, Supply Chain Analyst

Obtaining My Internship

I obtained my internship by attending the career fair provided by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.  At first, I was not going to talk to Mercury, but I ended up doing it and I got a phone interview.  I missed the call on the phone interview, and I figured I didn’t have a chance at the internship.  Luckily for me, Mercury called again two days later and I did well enough on the phone interview to receive an actual interview at Mercury Marine.

When the e-mail came that delivered the information on the interview, I could not believe it, the interview was going to be four hours.  I had never done anything like that before in my life.  After doing the interview, and getting a call informing me that I had received an offer, I started my first day on May 29th.  I was very anxious about this internship.  I heard that Mercury was a place where they gave you a lot of responsibility, and expected good interns.  I knew that expectations were high and I was going to have to work extremely hard to impress.

What I Do On a Day to Day Basis

When I started at Mercury in late May, I began on the further process desk.  Further process means that we ship parts to another company who machine, paint, or process parts in to the form that is needed.  Then those parts are shipped back to us for use.  Part way through my internship they wanted a full time employee on this desk and co-ops to start using the mechanical desk.  The mechanical desk has the most parts by volume, but they are much smaller and cheaper parts. Every day I start by grabbing the daily reports that are distributed amongst the analysts and buyers within the purchasing department.  These reports are reviewed, and the system may be adjusted to keep the parts on track.  Often time’s phone calls and emails are necessary to contact the supplier and discuss the issues that are occurring.  Orders are then either moved in or out to adjust to the schedule.  Most suppliers are incredibly helpful, and that is nice to have.  The thing that I like most about the job is the random situations that occur.  Rarely are two situations the same, so many variables can occur at any time.  This makes the job intense but interesting.

Challenges

The main challenges that I face are dealing with stock losses and suppliers who are past due on their shipments.  Stock losses can occur at any time and when they do, you must contact the supplier and try to work magic to bring in enough parts to ensure that the line does not go down.  Past due suppliers are more frustrating then anything.  To get them caught up, you have to remind them of the consequences for shutting a line down.

What I have Learned 

Passing the halfway point in this internship, I have realized that this internship was everything that I could have asked for in terms of experience and enjoyment.  I feel that I am prepared for any job within this field of study because of Mercury’s demand.  The demand can vary so much here, which causes havoc within this job.  If I can handle the fluctuating demand from here, I feel that I can handle anything else as an analyst.

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