As the spring semester arrives and internship recruiting picks up, sharing our second-year Tippie students’ internship experiences may help the first-year MBAs navigate the search. Kyle Bogler talks about his summer with United Stationers and how he applied what he had learned in his first year of B-school:
Where did you intern?
I spent the summer as an inventory management MBA intern with United Stationers in Deerfield, IL. My internship was project based. I was tasked with evaluating the company’s current purchasing and shipping decisions. United Stationers run a hub-and-spoke replenishment model with 30 locations. I analyzed historical data and built a sophisticated Excel model that the buyers and inventory managers could use when determining if they should buy direct from the manufacturer or ship product into a hub and then distribute it to smaller spoke locations.
How did you find your internship?
I attended the Midwest Career Fair in Chicago where I struck up a conversation with one of the directors at United Stationers. Our conversation went well and she informed me United Stationers was coming to Iowa for a formal company presentation and recruitment and asked me to interview while on campus. The first round of interviewing went well, and I was invited to a final round at the company’s headquarters where my fate was sealed.
What was the biggest surprise about your summer experience?
One of the biggest surprises to me over the summer was the complexity and impact of the project I was given. This internship didn’t involve making copies or getting my boss coffee in the morning, though I did do my best to stay on his good side! I was given a highly visible problem the company had been dealing with for sometime. Since the project had such high visibility, I was able to meet with leaders inside a Fortune 500 company from buyers to the CEO for insight and advice.
Do you have any advice for first year students looking for their internships?
My advice is to start your search early. You will hear this over and over again, but it truly does help. Even if you don’t land an internship in the first few months, you are sure to gain experience in networking, interviewing, and at fine-tuning your resume. You can’t get these skills by reading a book or listening to a peer.