In this “Internship Experience” blog post series, we will be featuring the profile and thoughts of our students from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management as they return from summer internships.
Name: Dean Herrera
Graduation Year: May 2021
Major(s): Supply Chain Management / Real Estate
Hometown: Glenview, IL
Intern Company/Title: Dyson – Supply Chain Intern
Describe your position and some of your daily tasks?
I am one of three interns for the logistics and supply chain department for the U.S., and I work on the outbound side for moving Dyson products to stores and customers. My tasks include attending daily meetings with our logistics partners and working on assigned projects to better view and analyze our performance data.
How did you land your internship?
Luck, I suppose. Dyson is the only company that interviewed me out of all the internships I have applied to over the past few years, but I felt like I was able to really stand out as a candidate when meeting face-to-face with the hiring team. It also helped that Dyson is headquartered in Chicago, a city I am very familiar with, so I was able to personally connect with most of the people interviewing me.
What did you learn from your internship experience?
I have learned a lot about the day-to-day supply chain activities involved in running a global company and the necessity of keeping it flexible, which has been a major challenge since the beginning of COVID-19. Additionally, I’ve learned a bit about marketing and consumer preferences, which have changed significantly in recent months, and how keeping your products and services available and appealing to customers is a necessity.
Has your experience changed your plans or career choice when you leave college?
It has certainly made me think a lot about the supply chain field as a whole, as it is what I came to school with the intent to do. I suppose it has helped guide me to more of my niche in logistics and find ways to make myself marketable to employers by leveraging my skills, knowledge and passion. On the other hand, it has made me think, “Is this really want I want to do?” and pushed me to look at other options in case I lose my passion or interest in the field. As much as I enjoy logistics, there may be a time when I want to switch career paths entirely and I want to be ready in case I do.
How will your internship experience help you after graduation?
Having technical experience in the field is definitely something employers want, so the more I can gain before graduation, the sooner I can (hopefully) start my career.
How has the Whitman School prepared you for your internship?
Taking classes in supply chain helped to better understand industry terminology and technical information, especially when it comes to learning about global supply chain methods. Gaining experience in programs like Excel and SAP is also a big plus, as it makes you more capable of being able to jump right in and work with bigger operations without taking the time to be trained.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
While it would have been a lot more interesting if we had been working in an office environment, the necessity to work remotely added complexity to the experience. I have still gained a ton of knowledge in the field, especially in working with reporting from third party logistics suppliers. The people working on my team also made it a great experience, as everyone was willing to work with me and did not treat me like “the intern”.
Do you have any advice to students who are looking for an internship?
Express passion for what you want to. In the interviews I did! I spoke a lot about my prior experiences and the leadership skills I gained. Additionally, I discussed my overall goals for being in the supply chain field, and how they aligned with Dyson’s. I had a pretty long conversation about intermodal container logistics. Overall, it just seemed to me that employers want to see your drive when you are applying, even if you do not think you are necessary as qualified or have the right experiences.