Position: Analyst – Resin Strategy Team
Chemicals Purchasing Department
Auburn Hills, Michigan
What did you expect to gain from your summer internship?
My goal for this internship was to get a taste for what a Supply Chain Management job really looked like in the “real world.” I hoped to gain analytical skills and have access to a global supply chain. I also wanted to work outside of Texas and get experience living in another state.
Did it meet or supersede your expectations?
This internship definitely met my expectations. I gained a lot of insight into what my day-to-day life could look like working in a Supply-Chain-related role after graduation. One of the best things about FCA is that it is an incredibly open company. Almost everyone working for FCA in the US (with the exception of those working at the manufacturing plants) works in one giant HQ building. That means that everyone from legal to finance to design and everything in between, are all in one place. As an intern, I was given a lot of exposure to other departments and I was allowed to shadow or meet with anyone I wanted. I was also included in several high-level and cross-functional meetings, so I got exposure to several different roles.
Share an interesting encounter you had during your internship.
As part of the direct purchasing department, part of my job included visits to suppliers. This was one of my favorite things to do because I got to drive all around the state of Michigan and see the car parts actually being made. A few weeks into my internship, I was invited to visit a supplier with the engineering team. Since the visit was not primarily about a purchasing issue, I was the only person in the meeting from the Resin Team. To everyone’s surprise, one of the executives from the supplier starting asking about the Resin Program, something no one else was very familiar with.
Unexpectedly, I got to speak in the meeting and answer questions. It was really cool that I was trusted to speak to clients after just a few weeks as an intern, but it also boosted my confidence since I proved to myself that I could accurately articulate what I had learned about the Resin Program.
What did you learn about yourself that you did not know before?
Being in a work environment for 40+ hours every week taught me countless lessons about myself. I think the most important lessons have been about the kind of work I enjoy doing and how I prefer to do that work. I learned that I really enjoy project-oriented work, where I can see something from beginning to end. I really found myself craving work that I felt would affect how the company did things, not what they did. I also learned that I like to talk through things with others, instead of sitting alone in a cubicle. Knowing more about in what type of environments I work most productively and what type of work I enjoy most helped me to give feedback to my supervisors which helped them place me on projects that were more and more exciting for me as the summer progressed.
What did you contribute to the company?
One thing that I identified as I was learning about the resin buying strategy was how segmented the Resin Team was from the rest of the purchasing department. There was a definite lack of understanding about how resin should affect and was affecting all of the other commodities. I started setting up meetings with other groups to better understand how resin fit into the larger picture and using the information I gathered to create training documents. I presented to individual departments in the hope of creating more cross-functional alignment so that everyone can both support and benefit from the overarching resin strategy.