My Fisher Internship Fisher College of Business Office of Career Management

My Fisher Internship
Always Learning

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One thing my mother has always taught me is that you’re never finished learning. This has been absolutely true for me this summer during my internship at Votorantim Cimentos. I would like to say that I walked into the office on day one with all the knowledge and tools necessary to complete my project but that wouldn’t be true at all.

Coming from a finance background, the company naturally sent me to their finance department for my internship. However, the project has to do with ERM, or Enterprise Risk Management, something I have no prior experience in. Once I found out about the project scope, I quickly contacted one of our esteemed professors here at Fisher for some help, Dr. René M. Stulz. He graciously gave me some crash course materials which I poured over on the flight down to Brazil, although I still felt quite unprepared upon arrival. Basically my task is to identify, quantify, measure, and assess the company’s risk of a logistics breakdown for the import of the key material they use to fuel their plants, petroleum coke.

I started out by meeting with my colleagues in the risk department to get as much info as I could about how to go about this and where to begin. I then moved over to the logistics department to learn all about the entire logistics chain and find out what keeps them up at night. Into about my second week I started to feel like I at least had a handle on the overall situation and where the issues were, now I just had to find a way to quantify the risks.

For that, I referred back to the material Dr. Stulz provided and tried to keep it simple. I knew I had limited time here and would not be able to dig into extremely complex risk scenarios. So I determined three key measurements that myself and the logistics guys agreed were important indicators. Since then I have been travelling to different offices and plants trying to acquire the data I need to build these indicators. Over the past few weeks the scope of my project has grown and shifted a bit but I have been very conscious to keep it simple, and I think this has been the key to staying on track so far. I have about one week left to work, then begins the tour of presentations to managers, risk owners, and directors. It’s been only five weeks and I think I’ve managed to learn enough to confidently make solid recommendations to this company, but I can definitely say that I am still learning.

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