Written by: Catalina Lizarralde
I finished my first project. It was exciting to see the final result of a process of adaptation and learning!
You see, I had to create a map that interactively refreshes with Excel data that is imported from queries and databases (trust me THANK YOU CSE200!) in the company’s system. The map retrieves costs that Dow incurs when shipping products to different customers located in different states. This project was very rich for my internship experience since it provided me with an opportunity of being exposed to the different elements of the Supply Chain. As a Logistics major, this was ideal since I traced costs from the plant to the moment it reached the customers, including all the different variables that take part in an order. I don’t want to be redundant or extremely detailed because I understand that not everybody is as obsessed as I am with logistics, nevertheless, trust me, I think anybody that gets to do a project like this would have enjoyed it. In a nutshell, it was a little taste of everything. Another great component of this project is that the business leader who proposed it really saw value in the potential savings this map could bring to the company. This gave him a very useable tool. Additionally it gave me the good feeling of knowing that I did at least a little something for a big company.
The Dow Chemical Company planned six projects for me, all as interesting as the one that I just completed. Personally, one of the reasons I have enjoyed my internship so much is because I have been challenged to learn new things, in new ways and deliver results. I also believe that it is important to be exposed to as many different parts of the Supply Chain discipline that you can before you graduate. Wherever you are interning, take advantage of the leaders and peers around you. Schedule meetings and ask many questions. You are an intern… you are supposed to ask dumb questions, so don’t be scared. It has been due to these conversations, and these little steps that I have learned about the company’s culture, the available opportunities and have taken with me valuable advice of people that I admire as leaders and professionals.
Finally, put your feet on the ground; work is not school! In school, you can read ahead, study hard, and maybe even go to a tutor room if you want to stand out. At work, on the other hand, it’s not that simple. A company like Dow has taught me the value of being humble, of realizing that there are some things I can’t do nor control on my own, and that there is great value to learning from the experienced people around me.
Anyways… I have to wake up early to take a plane to visit The Dow Chemical Company headquarters in Midland, Michigan, so I hope you enjoy this informative post!