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“Meeting recruiters in-person links your résumé with someone who has met you. You never know what will come from that.”
The Harbert College is committed to providing relevant, forward-looking, and engaging curricula, instruction, and high-impact experiential learning opportunities. Some of these experiential learning opportunities include attending conventions that involve some of the nation's top firms ... and their recruiters.
Katherine Stiegler could have wanted an internship at PetSmart. She could have wanted an internship at Sephora, Macy’s or Nike. College students nationwide pitched themselves to these big name retailers at the National Retail Federation’s career fair in New York City in January, which 14 students in Supply Chain Management attended.
Lines were long. Competition was strong. But Stiegler, who earned a degree in Supply Chain Management in May, wasn’t fazed. Armed with confidence and an overwhelming amount of savvy regarding data and its use in the retail industry, she settled into the line for Kohl’s. And waited. And waited. And waited.
Thirty minutes passed before she finally reached the recruiter.
“I walked up there and was asking about their internships and the recruiter told me that their internships were closed,” Stiegler, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, said. “My whole body sunk, but I made sure not to show that. I waited in line so long I wasn’t just going to turn around.”
Then the Kohl’s recruiter asked about a merchandise analysis position. Not an internship. A full-time job at the corporate headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Several rounds of interviews and two weeks later, Stiegler was offered the job. She begins this summer.
On one hand, Harbert’s classroom experience gave Stiegler the tools she needed to do the job. On the other hand, Harbert’s student experiences beyond the college gave her the opportunity she needed to showcase her talent.
“What prepared me the most for this job opportunity were purchasing and procurement and supply chain strategy classes with Dr. Anthony Roath,” Stiegler said. “Those were the classes I talked about in my job interviews. The only reason I think I got the job was because I had that experience with data and being able to apply that to Excel.”
Supply Chain Performance Management class uses metrics and analysis to monitor performance. Supply Chain Strategy provides an intensive study to facilitate global flows of products, information, etc. She mastered both.
“Being able to talk about those classes and using the tools that make supply chain applicable to the real world … they could see that even without having an internship background, working with Excel and being able to interpret data – and clean data – I was really valuable to them,” she added.
Being able to showcase your knowledge before corporate recruiters on a national scale was priceless, Stiegler said. “You never know what kind of connections you can get out of them,” she added. “There’s a difference between applying online and you’re just another number. Meeting recruiters in-person links your résumé with someone who has met you. You never know what will come from that.”