One internship is required to earn a degree in Supply Chain Management at the Harbert College. Lauren Porter didn’t stop there. The senior from Brentwood, Tennessee, had three separate internships and has already accepted a job with Lockheed Martin in Orlando, Florida, as a manufacturing planning associate after her December graduation.
Porter, who will be the graduation marshal for the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University’s commencement on December 10, discussed the importance of internships as part of the business education process.
“Multiple internships provide great work experience, allow you to study different areas and companies in the industry, learn multiple software systems, build a great network, gain professional mentors – and earn money,” she said.
Porter was an operations intern at P&S Transportation in Nashville in the summer of 2015, interned in purchasing at Southern Nuclear in Dothan, Alabama, in the spring of 2016 and lastly as a logistics intern at Apple in Austin, Texas, over the summer.
“From my exposure to different companies, industries, cultures and managers, I know what environments I work well in, what roles I enjoy, what areas of industry I want to work in, what kind of companies I want to work for, and what management styles I work well under,” she added. “Multiple internships gave me confidence, experience and options.”
They also prepared her for the culture shock of moving away. “I navigated new places and made friends to make the three months in a new place feel like home,” she said. “I’m more self-sufficient, mature and adaptable. I feel confident about moving to Orlando and settling in because I’ve done it twice before.”
At Lockheed-Martin, Porter will manage and allocate materials, scheduling machines and people, and coordinating suppliers and customers. “I will be planning and replenishing materials that will go into producing a component of F-35 fighter planes.”
Porter credited the education she received within Harbert College’s Supply Chain Management program for preparing her for her career.
“The program lays a solid foundation for me to build on,” she said. “The classes focus on different areas of the supply chain and really break down the technical lingo into concepts we understand. A number of people in the industry have stumbled into supply chain careers and learned the concepts on the job. I think formally studying the discipline gives students a distinct advantage.”
She encouraged prospective students to consider supply chain when deciding upon a major and career.
“The incredibly successful companies that we see today are built on an efficient supply chain,” she added. “It's the backbone to every business. Every business needs to procure, manufacture, and/or move materials. I love the type of people the industry attracts -- logical, can-do, and collaborative. The outlook is really bright, the need for talent is there and well compensated for. The industry is experiencing rapid growth.”