How to Find Supply Chain Management Internships
GRADUATE STUDIES | QUICK READ
The leap from classes to a career is a big one. To bridge the gap, about 75 percent of students take on at least one internship during their college years. Internships greatly increase the odds that you’ll find a job within your chosen field within six months of graduating.
In a broad field such as supply chain management, internships offer the intangible benefit of helping you narrow your interests and goals before entering the job market.
Internships in this arena—like the jobs—run the gamut, from operations and logistics to business analysis, industrial engineering and manufacturing.
Where to Start
Trying to land a supply chain management internship while keeping up with your classes can be daunting. Fortunately, there are many resources that can help.
But first things first: Don’t neglect your studies in favor of eyeing internships. A high GPA will show potential employers that you possess focus, smarts and drive.
Next, check in with the career office or your college advisor for help polishing your resume and identifying potential leads. It can be tricky to translate your abilities onto paper, especially if you’ve never done it before.
Think about your strengths and how you can highlight them:
- Can you multitask? If you go to school and work or are involved in co-curricular activities, you definitely can.
- Are you organized? Detail-oriented? Good at hitting deadlines?
- Do you have strong interpersonal skills that would improve communication between customers, employees, vendors and managers?
Each of these desirable attributes improves your prospects in supply chain management.
Consider what contacts you might have in the field. In addition to faculty members, classmates and alumni can provide connections. Many companies have supply chain management operations, so keep your options open. You may end up interning at a huge corporation or a small startup, for a nonprofit or a government agency. Each offers learning opportunities, so don’t limit yourself.
Research the companies where you aim to intern. Study job descriptions and think about what you can offer those companies—and how the internship can benefit you.
What is a Supply Chain Management Internship Like?
Supply chain internships are all over the map, with thousands listed on online job boards such as LinkedIn, Indeed and CareerBuilder. A prospective intern could vie for a position everywhere from Microsoft to Hickory Farms to Union Pacific—or even a bottling plant or an organic dairy farm.
Whatever the field, interns will be performing many of the same duties required of a full-time supply chain manager. Those include:
- Assisting with projects, from source to consumer, or idea to execution
- Developing plans for increased efficiency and reduction of waste
- Negotiating with vendors to acquire raw materials
- Helping to launch new products
- Forecasting performance and analyzing data
- Collaborating among different departments and stakeholders
- Running cost analyses and monitoring metrics
An internship in supply chain management is an investment in your future. You will make new contacts, gain invaluable experience and attain a holistic understanding of the process of developing a concept from start to finish.
Ready for a Supply Chain Management Career?
Explore supply chain studies at Elmhurst College, and request more information by completing the form below.