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SmartPort Intern broadens knowledge and network

by Mary Rooney | Jul 31, 2018
Adrien HeadShot 2

By Adrien Valmont, KC SmartPort intern

I spent the summer before my senior year working at KC SmartPort as an intern. In the fall I will return to the University of Kansas, where I will continue my education in supply chain management and marketing. As a student, I am active in the Multi-Cultural Business Scholars Program where I attend programs and meetings with many Kansas City businesses. Through the program and KU’s school of business, I have been connected to and mentored by many Kansas City business executives. Being a part of SmartPort, and by extension the Kansas City Area Development Council, I have been able to further my network and make greater connections.

The summer of 2018 was a great experience, where I learned hands on knowledge. I began my summer jumping into projects and doing research. I handled Twitter accounts, updated our website and assisted in overall project meetings. In addition to these responsibilities I created the 2019 Transportation Outlook, which forecasts global, national and regional trends in the transportation industry.

Before coming to KC SmartPort I had smaller view of supply chain concepts outside of the classroom. After spending my summer here, I have seen the development and potential of Kansas City on a competitive level. Seeing what draws manufacturing and distribution companies to the Kansas City area has shown what both small and large-scale companies look for in a city. The combined transportation and economic development work has expanded my understanding of classroom topics. Being able to sit in on meetings and attend events with KC professionals benefitted me immensely. In particular attending the Go Global KC Luncheon brought a global aspect to what I had been working on. The presentations from former global leaders on tariffs and trade helped clarify the many perspectives I had been relating to the 2019 Outlook.

Overall, the knowledge I have gained this summer will help not only in the classroom, but in career opportunities for the future.  Engaging with industry professionals was an amazing opportunity that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. The unique viewpoint of seeing companies expand from the city’s perspective was an eye-opening experience.  This internship was a valuable chance to learn, and I am grateful to Chris and Elli at SmartPort for providing me with this opportunity.

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