This past spring I started to get serious about looking for an internship for the summer after my sophomore year at the University of Chicago. With economics and environmental studies as my focus, I was seeking an opportunity to gain industry experience in a corporate environment. I found Source One’s internship posting on my university’s online job board, and after a couple of interviews, I had landed myself an internship for the second half of the summer which I have since continued into the fall semester of my junior year.
Source One has a diverse offering of services, and that was certainly reflected in the work that was delegated to me.
Over the first few weeks, my work primarily consisted of routine data entry, providing me with a foundational understanding Source One's strategic sourcing process and the type of spend data Source One's cost reduction analysts review. As I gained more and more experience, I was given more responsibility. More recently I’ve supported marketing benchmark initiatives for a client looking for venues to host their yearly regional trade shows.
Much of my work has been focused on one of Source One's largest clients. Learning about all different segments and areas of the client’s business has been very enlightening. I am in an undergraduate business program and have taken classes at our business school, but working for that client has given me more of a holistic understanding on how business decisions are made than anything I’ve learned on campus. Supporting a number of strategic sourcing projects for the client, I’ve gained hands-on experience collecting and providing the necessary information that will be used to make decisions for a number of business units including Marketing and Supply Chain.
I’ve really enjoyed qualitative research tasks, whether it is finding alternative suppliers, categorizing potential alternative suppliers, or researching the market in general for a specific product or capability. I have become a master at optimizing my Google searches. Trying to find watch photographers in Switzerland has been my favorite research task so far. I've even used the French skills I picked up while fulfilling my language requirement on campus to communicate with abroad vendors. There are also more routine tasks like data entry, that some might find less interesting, however I personally find digitizing invoice data very rewarding and relaxing. Setting up excel formulas to check my own work and finding interesting industry podcasts to listen to help make tasks like these go by faster, and more efficiently.
The office culture at Source One is very flat, in that I have been able to work closely with almost everyone in the office, regardless of title. From analysts to project managers to vice presidents, no one at Source One has ever been too important or too busy to hop on the phone with me and offer help. I feel just as close with the senior analysts as I do with my fellow interns. Team-building events like the Chicago office ping-ping tournament last Friday, which I won handily as an intern, also help to reinforce the friendly and collaborative atmosphere.
I’ve been here for three and a half months now, and I’m happier than ever that I chose to pursue an internship at Source One. In the future, I'm interested in using my analytical and problem solving skills to help solve environmental issues from an economics perspective. My time at Source One has been helpful in figuring out how I can apply my future degree, and the skills I've learned.