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Supply chain student reflects on summer internship

by KC SmartPort Intern | Jul 28, 2017

Isabelle headshotBy Isabelle Haake, KC SmartPort intern

Starting at the beginning of June I joined KC Smartport as the summer intern. In the fall I will be a junior at the University of Kansas where I am studying supply chain management with a concentration in international business. Before starting at SmartPort, I embarked on a short-term study abroad program in Northern Europe with KU’s Supply Chain Program, where I experienced supply chain in a global context. Last school year, I was an officer for the KU Supply Chain Management Club, and will be the event planner for the club starting in the fall. I will attend the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual Conference in September thanks to the local CSMP Heartland Roundtable and CSCMP.

At SmartPort, my duties include handling the Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, attending meetings, updating the website, preparing for events and assisting with the monthly E-Newsletter. When not tending to these duties, I work on the Transportation Outlook 2018, which forecasts the different transportation sectors and includes the Kansas City region.

Growing up just 45 minutes away, I am no stranger to the Kansas City region, but SmartPort has made me aware of the area’s true potential as a logistics hub. With the addition of numerous fulfillment centers, distribution centers and the rapid construction of industrial space, Kansas City has already proved that it is an ideal location. Because I work with companies, both big and small, I have learned how they go about choosing future building and what they look for during site selection.

Throughout the summer, I have used my knowledge from the classroom and applied it to my work. When sitting in on talks with companies, I am able to understand the supply chain lingo. When I am able to follow the conversation, I am engaged with the company and reminded that the terms I learn in the classroom are relevant to the industry, which make my studies worthwhile. In addition to writing the Transportation Outlook 2018, I am assisting SmartPort with an education initiative to introduce supply chain into area schools. SmartPort works with the Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (NCAPS) throughout the school year, but this summer SmartPort is helping area teachers expand their curriculum by providing a “toolkit” they can use in their classroom for all grades. In recent meetings I shared with teachers how I became interested in supply chain, what the KU Supply Chain Program has done for me, and how I learn about the industry outside of the classroom.

Overall, the experience has been filled with opportunities to learn and engage with industry professionals, the SmartPort team and the Kansas City region. I would like to thank my instructors at the KU School of Business and Chris and Morgan at SmartPort for providing students like me with this extremely valuable opportunity. 

1 comment

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  1. Preston McDaniel | Aug 02, 2017

    Basic Supply Chain Logistics should be taught in the KC region high schools & community colleges to take full advantage of this current/future high demand (high pay) low tech freight industry need that could propel KC to the #1 freight distribution region nationally.

    Critical infrastructure is in place (central usa location, #1 Agriculture, #2 rail behind Chicago, intermodal rail & truck trade zones, #1 underground limestone caves, #2 Auto production behind Detroit, Google fiber, etc.). Need a workforce to help fill the current/projected future lack of qualified workers to fill this great opportunity in our region.

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