How To Launch Your Supply Chain Management Career With This Company’s High-Impact Co-Op

ge appliances supply chain wayup

No matter what someone studies—whether it’s
something as broad as English or as specific as Supply Chain Management—nobody
ever feels quite ready to enter the workforce until they actually do it.

Getting that first real job is the bridge between the life of a college
student and the life of a thriving professional. And luckily, for those
interested in the field of supply chain, GE Appliances offers an opportunity to
do just that, before you even graduate, through their Supply Chain Co-op
program.  One assignment tasks students
with managing teams during the night-shift at different GE Appliances’

We caught up with Rafé and Matt who told us
about their experience, and how it helped launch their careers.

Solving Problems In The Supply Chain—One Project At A Time

Shortly after beginning the co-op, Matt
quickly found himself fine-tuning the processes that led to slow-downs on the
factory floor. One of his projects helped drivers more efficiently bring their
trucks to the dock. To the untrained ear, this might not sound like a high-impact project, but small changes in process,
when repeated thousands of times, lead to major increases in productivity—and,
ultimately, a better cost-to-revenue ratio. That’s what supply chain is all

As Rafé said, “It may not sound like much, but
we were most proud of the fact that we established process and discipline on
our own.”

Don’t let their humility fool you. In addition
to the wide-reaching changes they were able to make, both Rafé and Matt were
given management responsibilities as demanding as many senior leadership roles.

Learn In Real Time, By Managing Real People

It’s one of the biggest challenges—but also
the biggest opportunity—of the co-op: managing real people, many of whom are
older and more experienced than you are.

Rafé and Matt, as leaders on the night-shift,
were tasked with the safety, efficiency, and management of their business
area’s team. This even included stuff like approving timecards.

Learning to do this was a little bit of “trial by fire,” Rafé says.

After some initial classroom training
opportunities, like a frontline leadership course provided by GE Appliances,
much of the learning was done on the fly. The program’s hands-off style
definitely contributed to quicker learning and professional development,
though, says Matt.

“I was very impressed with how much I learned
in a short time frame during my co-ops,” he tells us. “The most important thing
that I learned during my first few co-ops was to ask questions. That is why you
are there…to learn. I asked questions to my colleagues in the office, the
operators on the floor, my assignment leaders, and everyone in between both to
learn the skills needed for my job and also to simply grow as a professional.”

Graduating To The Supply Chain Development Program

Both Matt and Rafé thrived in their co-op roles, and after graduation they were invited to join full-time as members of the Supply Chain Development Program. This puts them on a track to become supply chain leaders at the company in just a few short years.

While the skills they learned in school are
certainly essential in their new roles, the co-ops gave them the self-assurance
they needed to take the next step.

“Throughout the journey, I solved problems
with multiple functions, developed relationships, and made an impact on my
team,” Matt says. “Looking back, I truly feel that this co-op improved my
confidence in the workforce tenfold.”

Want to
start on your own path to supply chain success? Check out open
opportunities at
GE Appliances on WayUp

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