I'm finally back home after spending the entire summer in Dothan, Alabama/Cedar Springs, Georgia! Before classes kick back up, I'd like to spend a little bit of time detailing my first internship experience.
I snagged my procurement internship with a large, private organization early on during my first year of graduate school. As a Supply Chain/Operations Management concentration, I knew I wanted to intern with a large company and in a buying/purchasing role and that's exactly what I was able to do this summer when working for an organization that manufactures containerboard.
Before diving into some tips and what I learned from my 10 week internship, I want to give a breakdown of my daily routine.
5am CST - Wake-Up
6am CST - Leave Dothan apartment
7:45am - Arrive at work
8:15am - Morning Mill wide call
8:45 am - Assist buyers with executing contract/service agreement, create bid events, source items for various mill departments
10:00 am - Weekly Procurement Department Meeting
11:15 am- 12:30 pm - wrap up desk work/quick lunch
12:30 pm- 4:30pm - head out to storeroom to work with buyers and clerks to order, put away, and drop off inventory throughout mill
4:30 pm - head back to office
4:45 pm EST - end work day and head home
4:30 pm CST - arrive back at Dothan apt
4:45 pm - 8:00 pm - dinner, blog, tv time, etc.
8:00 pm - shower
9:00 pm - watch one last tv show
9:45pm - 10:00pm - bed
I made this quick little video towards the end of my internship program to give you a better idea of my daily routine. ** Turn your volume down -- the audio didn't translate well between my iPhone and the blog and it's quite uneven.**
Yes, I lived in one time zone and worked in another! It took me most of the summer to get use to waking up an hour early, so needless to say I'm very happy to be back in the Central time zone.
With this being my first ever internship experience, I learned five key things: 1) Don't wait... dive in! 2) Ask questions 3)Make connections 4) Use this time as a learning experience 5) Apply knowledge you already have
Once you get passed the on-boarding and HR phase of your internship, work with other interns and your supervisor to dig into the inner workings of your area. Go to meetings, work across teams, and take charge with projects.
There are no "dumb" questions. If you're curious or concerned or just want further insight, ask about it! If you're working on a project and get hung up, ask someone instead of making a wrong move. If you just want to know more about your organization and the area you're working in, set some time up with your supervisor and others in the area for one-on-one discussions. Remember, this is a huge opportunity for you, so be sure to use your first hand resources!
You don't want to stay in your little department all summer, learning about only one area-- branch out and get in touch with the other areas your department comes in contact with. As a procurement operations intern, I had the opportunity to work with and meet people from everyone around the mill. It made sense for me to get to know them better since procurement is responsible for purchasing everything from hand sanitizer for dispensers located across the mill all the way to high dollar motors, valves, and bearings for our paper machines! Plus, working on projects throughout the summer allowed me to even work with managers from our corporate location. There will always be opportunities to make connections, you just have to grab hold of them when they present themselves!
Use the Internship as a Learning Experience
Internships are these fun little experiences that all you to get a better understanding of a company, its culture, and experience working a true 40 hour+ work week. Yay! No, but seriously, use this time and opportunity to gain further understanding of what exactly you want and don't want in a job. Plus, interning is a valuable opportunity to work with and gain experience with different systems, processes, and programs-- these will give your resume a strong boost!
Apply Knowledge You Already Posses
Remember that you're bringing skills that not everyone has to your internship! Whether they're soft or technical skills, find opportunities to apply them to the various projects and responsibilities you take on during your internship.
I had a blast at my internship and was able to learn a lot about the company, its vision, and what some of my responsibilities would entail if I'm offered a position. I also learned what I don't want in a role as well and it's definitely given me a much clearer idea on what I'm looking for career-wise.
If you have any internship experience or advice, feel free to leave it below in the comment section!
Hello, I'm Margo.
25 year old laid-back lady currently pursuing my MBA in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Just using my blog to share my evolving style, favorite recipes, and exciting travels with you!
Thanks for reading.
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