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: Max Kennedy
Graduation Year: 2021
Major: Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Intern Company/Title: ITT Inc. – 6-Month Global Sourcing Department Co-Op Student
Describe your position and some of your daily tasks?
I am a supporting member of a project they have been working on within the global sourcing department. I spend my time preparing bailment agreements, pattern data consolidation, tracking supplier information, organizing file management, along with communicating with suppliers and other employees.
How did you land your internship?
I discovered ITT at the College of Arts and Science career fair last spring. When I talked to their recruiters, there was an instant connection and they seemed very interested in me.
What did you learn from your internship experience?
There is a lot more communicating and organizing in supply chain than I expected. Before my internship, I thought supply chain was more of setting up prices and formulas and letting it run its course. In reality, it is more of communicating with suppliers, keeping track of the systems and data analysis. Having a good relationship with suppliers is critical to a company’s success because they are the frontline of production. Without that constant communication, production could go through unforeseen problems possibly costing the company millions of dollars.
Has your experience changed your plans or career choice when you leave college?
It has not changed my future career goals but the internship has opened up more doors for networking and industries I can look into. Before this internship, I did not have a good idea of what companies I wanted to look into but after this internship, it made me realize that there are a lot more possibilities and supplier companies than I realized.
How will your internship experience help you after graduation?
Even though we are going through the COVID-19 pandemic, being able to have this experience will really elevate my qualifications in such a competitive job market. I was able to work in-person with a publicly-traded company during one of the largest pandemics of our time and having this experience will give me many talking points for my next interview.
How has the Whitman School prepared you for your internship?
Whitman has helped me greatly with preparing me for the professional atmosphere and presenting my best self when looking for a job. Without the help of my professors, I would not have had such a detailed resume and portfolio to present to ITT when I first applied.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
Being able to see how a company operates versus what we were taught, was the most interesting aspect of the internship. I had no idea what my day-to-day work would be like, but now I understand how a role like this operates. You learn very quickly that you are going to be working with people from all types of departments. Being well organized and having good interpersonal skills in the office was nice to learn compared to the university environment.
Do you have any advice to students who are looking for an internship?
Be consistent and proactive. When you apply to a company try and find the recruiters’ contact info and send a follow up thank you. If you do not hear anything after a week, follow up. Send someone an email or call and get in contact with the company. If they show interest in you, make sure to follow-up quickly. Do not wait for them to come to you if you do not hear anything after a while.
If you get to interview, do some research on the company beforehand. It shows you have done your homework and care enough about the company to learn what they are doing. If you do not get an offer or they do not choose you for the position, thank whoever you were communicating with and continue to network. Ask if they know anyone else in the industry, they may be able to connect you to and work your way from there.
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