Chris Barnett, Trade and Compliance Analysis
I am currently a co-op at Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac. I work in the Trade and Compliance department, which is a very broad department, but consists mainly of making sure that the company is complying with laws and regulations while importing and exporting goods across the word.
There are many regulations that the company has to comply with behind the scenes, which I did not know about prior to working at Mercury. For example, every part that is shipped out of the country needs to have a country of origin, harmonized tariff schedule code, and export control classification number along with much more information attached to it. This kind of information is what I work with on a day to day basis.
Obtaining my Internship
Before going to the career fair I put together a list of companies that I wanted to talk to. Mercury was number one on my list. To be quite honest I was a bit nervous when talking to the representatives of Mercury and didn’t think I had a chance to work there.
A month later, I received a call from Mercury asking me for an interview. When I received the schedule for my interview, I saw that the duration of the interview would be almost four hours long. I had no idea how I could talk about myself for four hours. Almost immediately after my interview however, they had me working as a full time co-op in the Trade and Compliance department.
What I learned
There is so much that I have learned while working at Mercury Marine that could not be taught by a text book or in a lecture hall. The best way to learn what truly goes on in a business is getting that first hand experience and seeing it for yourself. I was taught in QBA how to work in Excel and how to work through mathematical equations in stats, but trying to implement what you have learned in the real business world is a completely different experience.
I have also learned more efficient multitasking skills and gained better discipline with time management. This was very crucial for me to gain because I was also taking 15 credits in school while working full time. If I were to go back in the past however, I would not change a thing. My experience this semester has truly been a life changing one.
What I Do
I am currently in the Trade and Compliance Department at Mercury Marine. I handle export shipments to branches in Australia and Belgium, and less than container loads to customers in Latin America. I also work in import doing the following: import security filings, 7501 entry forms and duty payments. I also monitor our denied party screening database and software.
Trade and Compliance
I personally think that the Trade and Compliance Department is one of the most important not talked about departments in large companies. Our department clears shipments through customs that arrive from foreign suppliers. Without us our production could become slow or nonexistent. We handle all of the import documentation which if not filed properly or mistakes are made can result in fines in 10,000 per entry. Our goal is to get freight in as quickly and smoothly as possible while keeping costs at a minimum.
This is my first internship/CO-OP I’ve had and it has been quite the learning experience. I started my internship on January 16th. Mercury Marine has done a fantastic job at giving me opportunities to learn and be successful. They provide me with training seminars in-house and off site, lunch and learns, and job shadowing. This experience has given me an overview of a department I had no prior knowledge about and a potential new career path.
Lean Six Sigma
Mercury has also given me the opportunity to be a member on a Lean Six Sigma Team. Although I’m not going to play a major role, it’s an opportunity I’m extremely excited for. This project revolves around assists and customs valuation. This will allow me to see how project are completed in a major company. I will also have the opportunity to work with several people outside of my department allowing me to network and possibly see different departs and how they do things.
Another area in trade and compliance at Mercury is classification. This team classifies parts and engines to tariff codes referred to HTSUS. Currently I am just starting in this area of the department. Classification gives me the opportunity to work with engineers and learn about engines and engine systems. I would have never thought I would get the chance to be an engineer with a business degree.
Overall Mercury has given me great opportunities and I would recommend them to anyone looking for an internship!