I am going to be honest, when I was a child, my dream jobs were always along the lines of a veterinarian or a teacher. They had nothing to do with transportation and supply chains. Until my junior year of college, I was unaware of anything to do with supply chains or how they affected my life. A few of my classes focused on logistics and supply chains, it only was then that I began to realize the importance of this industry. Today is my 100th day working as a Social Media Representative at C.H. Robinson, and I have learned more than I could have ever imagined. My admiration for supply chains has grown immensely.
Before I began working in this industry, the terms that I now use on a daily basis had very different meanings to me. Transportation for example, was limited to common modes like cars, busses, and planes. Each one of these terms involved the transportation of people, not commodities. I had never thought about how my watermelon arrived at the grocery store only that it was always there for me to pick out. It wasn’t long after I started at C.H. Robinson when I realized my idea of transportation was about to do a complete 180. I learned about terms like “intermodal” and “small parcel,” which were previously foreign to me, but have now become a part of my everyday life.
As a relatively new grad, I am constantly being asked where I work. When I tell them that I work at a third party logistics company or 3PL they look at me as if I’m talking about something from the Twilight Zone. This is what excites me. I love talking about how every single person relies on the supply chain industry. Whether they are aware of it or not, without this industry there would be no movement of any products.
My friends and family may not have known about “omni-channel retailing” but they are interested to learn that it creates a more efficient experience for them when purchasing products. Or what about the word “risk”? I’m always finding ways to make risks within the supply chain relatable to my friends. I often explain that every single product they buy has a supply chain, and when that supply chain is faced with a risk, such as a natural disaster, there may be a shortage or a delay in the delivery of that item. It is only then that they begin to understand the importance of my industry.
After working at C.H. Robinson for 100 days, I have gained enough knowledge to write a book, but I think I’ll just stick to this post. I’ll never stop learning about supply chains. I enjoy the challenge of the industry, and am excited for what my future with C.H. Robinson entails. I would love to hear how you got started in this industry, or if you will be graduating soon and are hoping to join this industry. Please leave your comments below.