While many students are certain they know the ideal career path for them, some discover outside the classroom through internships that their passions lie elsewhere, and that is perfectly okay. After interning in human resources at Manth Brownell in Kirkville, N.Y., junior Katie Culkin discovered HR wasn't the right career path for her and developed a new passion for supply chain management.
How did you secure the opportunity?
I created a resume with Career Services then uploaded and applied to internships using professional networking websites.
What did you do on a daily basis?
I assisted the human resources manager with the hiring process. I conducted phone screens, interviews and training. I organized company wide events. I reviewed and distributed safety data in accordance with OSHA.
Most importantly, what did you learn?
From this internship, I learned that I love working in an office (because I had been thinking about switching to education). However, I found that Human Resources was not my passion. I loved being out on the plant floor and seeing how everything was made, moved, shipped, etc. It was when I came back to school and talked to my advisor, Dr. Pimentel, that I realized I really liked supply chain. I started to take supply chain classes and it was the first time that I wanted to study the material, instead of feeling like I had to in order to do well in the class. I would actually review material honestly just for fun/because it interested me.
I just started an operations internship with Speed Global Services in Buffalo and I have another internship lined up for the summer with J.B. Hunt. I am so excited for my opportunities and the ability to learn more about supply chain from experience, not just from a textbook.
What advice do you have for future students?
It is never too early to have an internship! My internship with Manth Brownell was the summer between my freshman and sophomore year! I think many students think that they cannot have an internship until they have taken a lot of classes in their major. An internship is a time for learning; it is expected and accepted that you do not know everything. Just do not be afraid to admit that you do not know something.
Also, if you decide that you do not like the path that you are on, do not be afraid to reevaluate what you want. It was hard for me to admit that I wanted to switch my major; I thought that it was something you had to stick with. I am so grateful that I did switch because now I love all of my classes, enjoy going to work and I am looking forward to my career after graduation.
How did NU's Office of Career Services help you?
Career Services helped me format and revise my resume. I had never written a professional resume before. The process can be quite scary, but the staff in Career Services were extremely helpful and supportive. I received one-on-one attention and constructive feedback.