As I made my way to Source One’s Chicago office for the first time, I felt an odd mix of nervousness and excitement. This was definitely going to be different than any of my previous work experiences, and had little idea what to expect. I had done my research on the company, read some strategic sourcing articles online, and ensured my Excel skills were as sharp as ever. Nevertheless, there was still a feeling of apprehension as I faced the unknown.

When my first day started, that trepidation soon disappeared. Everyone that I met was extremely welcoming. After gleeful introductions and setting up my desk, it immediately became clear how important everyone at Source One considers training.  Clearly, I was here to learn. Over the next couple months, I split time working on things like data entry and pulling invoices while also learning valuable lessons from experts in strategic sourcing and procurement. These lessons were provided by dedicated consultants who brought real-life experience to the training process.

Both my daily tasks and these hands-on learning experiences have proved valuable. The work provides me a better understanding of the basic building blocks of the sourcing process. Simultaneously, the lessons help me see how what I'm doing fits into Source One's uniquely strategic approach. Some of my favorite experiences so far have involved listening in on stakeholder calls. I find learning how different consultants handle such conversations and present themselves in a professional, articulate, and intelligent manner to be both fascinating and instructive.

Even more valuable experiences have come from collaborating with our consultants on various client initiatives. While I learned what a BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) is through my coursework, direct involvement in one's execution offered me a fundamental understanding of how it actually fits into the sourcing process. Similarly, knowing what a baseline is - and actually going through the process of establishing one - turned out to be two very different things.

Up to this point, my experience at Source One has been everything I could have asked for and more. After I graduate from DePaul, I plan to pursue a career in consulting. It's clear that the valuable experience I've gained with Source One will greatly benefit me in these pursuits.  I am thankful for the wide range of skills I have honed during this internship, and I'm eager to continue applying them.
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Samuel Cagle

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