Supply chain management makes the world what it is today and makes the world operate by moving goods. Supply chain is a great field to go into because there are many types of career paths to go down. It is a high-demand role within organizations. To start in supply chain, begin with a supply chain internship.
What is a Supply Chain Internship
A supply chain internship is applying what a supply chain management student learns in the classroom into real life.
By doing this, an intern will work with logistics and the production of products. They might work with a supervisor and speak with suppliers of products and services.
A big task an intern will do is working with data by entering it and doing data analytics. An intern might buy and expedite products. Lastly, they do spend analyses, procurement, sourcing, and business reviews. They will do greater project management and work on specific projects.
Throughout all of those tasks, it does depend on the company on exact tasks. But every company will have someone supervising interns and assisting them in tasks. An intern must be able to be critiqued and reviewed, and that is how a supply chain internship opportunity prepares for the real-world.
Types of Skills That are Developed in a Supply Chain Internship Program
One of the biggest things that can come out of a supply chain internship program is building relationships with people in the field. It is a great opportunity to get connected with team members in the field and in a variety of different areas. In some programs, they create mentorship programs.
These experiences can develop into great letters of recommendation and build upon your network. To be successful with networking in an internship, schedule informational interviews and chats over coffee to learn more from those team members. Their advice is invaluable.
Another thing that is gained through these programs is learning trade secrets and becoming better at the supply chain management process.
The experience helps an intern understand day-to-day tasks that supply chain management does, but also the long-term projects.
For most internships, this is someone’s first experience in an office and especially in an office of your field. This helps develop and gain professionalism and general office skills.
In all internships, but especially supply chain, interns will quickly gain the ability to hit the ground running and hit tight deadlines. The perk of this is that an intern will have quick and continuous improvement of organizational and leadership skills.
To be successful with a supply chain internship, use good communication skills with supply chain managers.
Overall, having an internship allows the student to learn what a full-time position can be and either affirm or refute their desire to continue supply chain as a career.
How to Write Your Resume and Cover Letter to be a Supply Chain Intern
Companies are looking for supply chain interns with experience with working with teams, problem-solving, and organizing. Within cover letters and resumes, keep those things in mind.
Good keywords to include:
- Lean Six Sigma
- Data integrity
- Inventory planning
- Key performance indicators
- Standard operating procedures
- Count logs
- Stock counts
- Demand Planning
- Quality Audits
Common Interview Questions for Supply Chain Management Roles
Why have you chosen this company for the supply chain?
Describe the stages or steps of the supply chain process?
What is the most difficult aspect of the supply chain process?
What qualities are needed to manage the supply chain process?
What is a project you have worked on in the supply chain and what challenged you about it?
If you were given a supply chain project, where would you start?
Describe a time when you did a supply chain project and it failed.
Supply Chain Management Full-Time Jobs After Graduation
While there are a variety of supply chain roles such as supply chain managers, there are also non-traditional supply chain careers.
According to Investopedia, an investment analyst, “collects information, performs research, and analyzes assets.”
They work with stock, bonds, currency, and commodities. They usually have bachelor’s degrees.
The annual median wage of an investment analyst is $81,590
Economists’ job description includes analyzing data, following research trends, understanding economic issues, and working towards solving them.
Their annual median wage is $105,020 and typically an economist has a master’s degree.
Buying and Purchasing Agent
A buying and purchasing agent does exactly what the title is. They buy and purchase products and services.
Their annual median wage is $69,600. They usually have a bachelor’s degree.
A logistician analyzes and coordinates a business’s supply chain.
Their annual median wage is $74,750 and most have a bachelor’s degree.
Good Companies for Supply Chain
According to Gartner, these are the top 10 companies to work for in supply chain.
- Cisco Systems
- HP Inc
- Johnson & Johnson