What were your internship assignments?
I was a part of the Global Internal Logistics Team. My main project was to analyze a specific type of internal flow called Minomi Flows at numerous manufacturing faculties. A flow is the path a part follows through the facility from delivery to the final assembly line. I collected information about the existing flows and created flow maps for numerous processes. After analyzing the variations between manufacturing faculties, I developed a recommended best practice that could be utilized to improve the efficiency of the flows.
What did a typical day at work look like?
During my time with Volvo, there was never a typical day. One day I might be at my home location in Lundby, Göteborg updating my excel sheets, participating in global meetings, or creating documentation for my project. The next day, I could be in either Tuve or Skövde visiting the manufacturing facilities. When I visited the plants, I would spend most of the day on the shop floor watching the manufacturing process, asking many questions, and speaking directly with the operators who work daily with Minomi parts.
How would you describe the experience of doing your internship in another part of the world?
It has been an amazing, exciting, and at times terrifying experience. By working in Sweden, I not only had the opportunity to travel to an area or the world that I have never visited before, but also live, experience and develop an appreciation for the culture and fantastic people who live here.
My time in Sweden has expanded my horizons and opened my mind to new ideas and new ways of thinking about and viewing the world. Since everything was new and uncertain at the beginning, I was terrified, but everyone has been so friendly and helpful that I felt at home in no time.
What did you learn?
That is a hard question to answer because I seem to learn something new every day, both inside and outside of work, both technical and cultural. As an industrial and systems engineering major, interning as an internal logistics developer was the ideal position to put what I have learned in the classroom into practice in the real world. I networked with professionals who helped me understand what engineers actually do on a day to day basis.
My boss let me be independent and gave me complete control of my project. He explained the results that he expected at the end of my internship. He then left me to figure how to get from point A to point B. I might have not taken the most efficient path, but my path allowed me to learn along the way from my mistakes. I believe this approach improved my final project. I not only learned about the professional world, but also personal. I learned how to adapt to different environments and communicate with people from varying backgrounds.
Which was the most rewarding part of the internship?
The most rewarding aspects of my internship were the amount of information that I learned from the numerous people that I had the opportunity to meet and interact with, and also having a project of my own. Everyone that I spoke with was extremely friendly and willing to share their knowledge.
Since I had a project of my own, I was able to take full responsibility and pride in my accomplishments. From this experience, I have a better idea of what I want to do when I enter the job force. I have a greater appreciation for working cross-culturally and the advantages and difficulties that come with it. This experience has made my classes more meaningful, helped me prepare for my future, and changed the way that I view the world and the people in it.
Which Volvo value (of the 5) do you most connect to? And why?
Volvo’s customer success value is the one I connect with most. I am motivated by seeing and understanding how my work can improve the lives of others. Therefore, whenever I see Volvo trucks on the roadways, I am excited to know I had a small hand in helping produce them. I appreciate that the Volvo Group strives to produce transport solutions that meet customers’ needs as well as create value for society. The final customer is not my sole concern when creating my recommendations.
I strive to consider all the individuals, such as the operators who might be following my recommendations regarding the trucks production. To make the operators jobs more efficient and easier, I strive to listen and talk with them about their needs, desires and challenges. This way we work together to produce the best solution to issues and thereby produce the best truck products. I also believe in following through on promises, because that's the way to build trust and strong relationships. Volvo’s value about delivering on their promises resonates strongly with me.
If you were to recommend The Volvo Group as an employer, what would you put forward?
At Volvo Group employees are valued, supported and provided with a satisfying and challenging work environment. Specifically, my boss was very clear that even though I was an intern, my project was going to add value to the company and be useful in the future. Everyone I met and spoke with at Volvo was extremely friendly and willing to help me when I had questions.
Since the Volvo Group is a global company, they have diverse teams and numerous opportunities. Working at Volvo, you can truly see their goal of improving their product for their customers. This environment is encouraging and fantastic to be a part of. It also provided me with a challenging but interesting project.
What are you goals, plans and hopes for the future?
My next goal is to graduate with my bachelors degree in May 2017 and then pursue my masters degree. After completing my academic education, I plan join the workforce while continuing to learn and follow opportunities that aid my growth to become an even better engineer. I enjoyed working in Volvo’s global company which offers the diverse teams that lead to better solutions. I look forward to joining a global team and making a difference as an engineer.
Name: Julia Griffin
University: North Carolina State University
Major 1: Industrial and Systems Engineering
Internship host organization: Group Trucks Operations
Site/Location: Göteborg, Sweden