Passing the Internship Torch

PROVO, Utah – Dec 19, 2018 – Students at the BYU Marriott School of Business are not strangers to the idea of networking with their peers, but this year the Global Supply Chain Association is taking it to a new level. Seniors in the global supply chain program are working to change the internship process in a way that will benefit their peers and future students.

GSCA president Brooke Squires says it’s typical for students to spend weeks tracking down the information they need to select and apply for internships, because it’s important to find the right fit. That’s why the GSCA came up with an idea to get all the information and resources in one place.

Seniors in the global supply chain management program felt that their first-hand experience and knowledge about internships was going untapped, information that couldn’t be found on a website or recruiting pamphlet.  Born out of a desire to share their experiences, they created a networking event they call an “inverse career fair.” 

The inverse career fair helps steer students in the right direction so they can find the best fit for them, and can be better equipped to make career decisions. “The club tries to get students into paths that they’re interested in,” Squires says.

At the event, those who have completed internships share their experiences with other students, helping them find the right culture and working environment. “There are a lot of different paths to choose from in global supply chain,” Squires says. “That’s why this career fair is so beneficial.” 

Seniors were each given a space to present their internship experiences, while students traveled from booth to booth, looking for the best fit for them—without the pressure of having to commit on the spot to an official recruiter.

Ben Roberts, who was integral to the conceptualization of the idea, said he also wanted to improve the relationships between juniors and seniors within the GSCM program. “Coming into BYU Marriott can be intimidating,” Roberts says. “Even though seniors only have one more year of experience, junior year is action-packed and being connected to people above you in the program is beneficial.” 

Many juniors have already begun to benefit from these new relationships because seniors are willing to help and connect with them. Tyler Cheney, a junior in the global supply chain program said Roberts helped him apply to Vivint. “[Roberts] has really taken me under his wing,” Cheney says. “Us juniors were able to see the human side of everyone, so now we feel comfortable enough to ask seniors questions and seek help from them.” 

While many of the internships were prestigious and highly sought after, Squires says it’s the fit that matters the most. “Every experience is different,” Squires says. “It’s not linear because there is no ‘best’ internship.” 

Despite it being a trial run, the fair seemed to be a success and turned out better than Squires and Roberts had hoped. The association plans to continue to hosting the fair each year to promote mentoring and networking. 

The attendees of the Inverse Career Fair pose for a group photo at the event.
The attendees of the Inverse Career Fair pose for a group photo at the event.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kat Harris