by Laura Beth Snipes, senior marketing major and marketing intern, Mike Cottrell College of Business

The Mike Cottrell College of Business focuses on preparing soon-to-be graduates for the real world by connecting them to the surrounding communities for possible internship opportunities. I sat down with current business management student, Sarah Stiebel, who will graduate in December 2017. She recently interned with Sherwin Williams from June until September 2016 and had some great advice to share when it comes to intern opportunities.

When Sarah came upon the position opening, she was already working at CHUBB in a co-op position. She just happened to come across the intern opportunity on LinkedIn, so she applied and finished her interview process within a week. Her former employer was happy to let her embark on this new journey with Sherwin Williams.

Sarah’s day to day responsibilities at Sherwin Williams included attending morning manager meetings, participating in driver interviews, putting together and analyzing productivity data on how to improve work flow and gathering various types of information needed to help the entire operation run smoother.

Sherwin Williams has a great program where much of the focus is to educate interns on the company and all areas of the company’s supply chain, allowing Sarah to see the whole picture. From visiting the plant where the paint is made, to visiting the retail and commercial stores, Sarah got a look at the different jobs and responsibilities involved in the successful operations of Sherwin Williams.

She had the opportunity to shadow each department at the Atlanta DSC that included warehouse, inventory and safety management, maintenance, continuous improvement, dispatch, finance, human resources and a couple of truck drivers. From getting a glance at all of those different departments, she has been able to understand supply chain management in the real world. She was also able to experience and see employees analyzing data and developing solutions in a production environment.

For Sarah, the most challenging part of the internship was gathering information in an efficient and timely manner, since most of the managers are continuously in and out of the DSC. She had to stay on top of acquiring what she needed and then confirming that she had the correct piece of information. Her favorite part of the internship, apart from the people she worked with, was analyzing data and group brainstorming processes to solve problems that occurred.

As far as the future goes, Sarah knows that this opportunity has given her valuable experience and connections in the industry, as well as a valuable look at the interviewing process from the hiring side. She believes that this knowledge will give her more confidence when applying and interviewing for full-time positions.