Supply Chain Expertise and Technology Blog by TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson

Test-Driving a Career: Factors in Attracting and Retaining Young Talent


Last week’s post described how internship opportunities can help logistics companies and the industry address the talent gap and support the career development of participants.

This week, we’re sharing our personal experiences from completing TMC’s program, along with how it helped prepare and retain us as we transitioned into full-time roles with the organization. We also touch on the importance internships have on talent management in the industry and how organizations can appeal to young professionals and best prepare them for success.

Finding the Right Fit
Let’s start with why we were attracted to the TMC program and a career in logistics. Even though neither of us graduated from supply chain programs, we saw logistics as a growth industry that offers a lot of scope for career development.

First impressions matter, and ours were positive. Two aspects that stood out were TMC’s young demographics and the wide exposure we were given to different areas of the company.

Gaining Relevant Experience
One of the biggest fears that students have when considering internships is that the positions will be so mundane, that there are few opportunities to learn, or that the jobs aren’t much more than coffee-making stints.

This was definitely not the case at TMC. We were attracted to the internship program because we knew that, from day one, we would have involvement in projects that add value for customers. Very early on, we learned about the implementation of a supply chain for inbound raw materials and cleaning the data that underpins a cool business intelligence tool.

This experience enabled us to expand our understanding of the logistics industry. Also, we saw that logistics is far from mundane. No two days are the same, and you have to get used to new challenges.

Personal Development
We experienced a lot of personal growth, too, which is very important as young professionals. That comes with being responsible not only for your own job, but also for the performance of the team to some extent. Our managers encouraged us to make decisions and be active team members.

This kind of environment builds confidence, especially when you’re young and untested. After a while, you no longer balk at a ringing telephone, or shrink from the challenge of being in the hot seat when managers are out of the office. You soon learn to think quicker and smarter.

One of the most memorable and beneficial experiences was working in a team. An eye-opener was how valuable it is to have multiple points of view and a diverse set of skills on hand when addressing problems.

Advice for Future Interns and Students
Our advice to students who are looking to join internship programs, or have already landed a role is to:

  • Network and network some more when you’re in the program.
  • Study the industry as much as you can; even reading a few short blog posts will help you fill in the blanks and build your image as someone who is eager to learn.
  • Take notes and never be afraid to ask questions.

Basically, you get out of an internship what you put into it, especially from a program that gives you a real-world job experience that could shape your future career.

In our case, that career-shaping experience led to full-time employment at TMC. This is an important outcome for the logistics industry, too. Good internship programs nurture urgently-needed talent and steer qualified individuals towards a career in logistics.

- Logistics Analysts, TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson