I am a sophomore in Industrial Engineering, my name is Marissa, and I bet you will not pronounce my first name correctly on the first try. It took a whole month for my coworkers this summer to get it right.
I never thought I would be writing this. I never thought I would have gotten the chance to intern the summer after my freshman year especially one so close to home. I never thought that I would be so lucky to get an internship that was so rewarding and beneficial where I did not mind some weird hours and where I did not want to leave. But I did. It was hard work to get the job, and I could not have been happier. On one of my first days, someone remarked that I was the least connected, because I did not have an “in” to the company – I wasn’t a relative or neighbor of an executive. I liked it that way, it set me apart.
I started my internship on June 1st, 2015, in the Field Engineering Support team of FedEx Ground’s Inbound Operations of the Operations and Engineering Department. From the beginning, everyone kept telling me I would be working on an important project but they kept using all kinds of words and abbreviations that I could not even guess the meaning. There was an entire language for FedEx employees and I was being thrown head first into it. I did not know what a DOES was, or what a DPOS did either (at first I thought it was depots, because I only heard it verbally) but I did know that my team directly supported the DPOS, whatever that meant. And, of course, there were DAQs, and IOES, and HODES. It took me a while, but I eventually got used to and understood the lingo. On my second to last week, I learned that there was a dictionary for all of the FedEx acronyms – I wish I knew that the first week.
When I first got into actual work and was not just meeting more people, I did a lot of reading. For my big project I had to read, study, and understand MOST Work Measurement – and since I had not been in any major-specific classes yet, I did not know anything about work measurement. I spent two weeks really studying up on it and then implementing it through practice examples around the office. At the time it seemed that I was not being used to my full advantage, but that quickly changed. I started going to stations, which are the intermediate stops before a package arrives at its destination, to see how the employees work at their 4 am sort of packages to be delivered that day. I took notes on their body movements and maneuvers and noted if they should have been doing anything differently. I took these notes back to the office, and started to implement MOST. I went to stations six different times, and typically had to be there by 4 am. Some stations were more than an hour away! What really excites me about this project was that I was able to talk directly to people in the field – my cousin included – and the results I calculated are going to be used as the new company standard. I was there for not even three months, and I am changing a forever-used standard. That really hit me. I never thought a measly intern like myself could make a difference in such a large company.
Overall, my internship at FedEx let me learn and experience so much in one summer. At the very least, I learned Visual Basic code through automating reports and MOST Work Measurement through creating new standards, both of which I hope will help me in my future industrial engineering classes. I received hands-on industrial engineering experience that bettered my understanding of industrial engineering practices. I witnessed how a large company works and its culture of, in this case, a family-like atmosphere. I loved almost every second of my internship, and I am so thankful for the opportunity. If nothing else, I met some great people in my fellow interns, co-workers, and other people in the company that I hope to stay connected with for a long time.