The Insider highlights men and women who offer tips and information on their given field.
This week we highlight Alex Shane, Supply Chain Planner at Microsoft.
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE AND WHAT DOES A ‘DAY-IN-THE-LIFE’ LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I was recently hired at Microsoft in Redmond, WA as a Supply Chain Planner. I don’t start until July, but my role will ask me to build supply plans, work with manufacturers overseas, and maintain vendor relationships. Microsoft is also working on some cutting-edge supply chain automation with machine learning technology, which is very intriguing to me.
WHAT EXCITES YOU MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK AND WHY IS IT MEANINGFUL TO YOU?
The technology industry is dynamic, which makes the supply chain move fast, and that excites me. I want to make a positive difference in people’s lives and I believe Microsoft's products enhance and empower people. Also, their products are just plain cool.
WHAT 3 PIECES OF ADVICE WOUD YOU GIVE TO A STUDENT IN THEIR FRESHMAN YEAR TO OBTAIN A KILLER JOB BY THE TIME THEY GRADUATE?
1. Evaluate your strengths and passions. Pick a major during your freshman year that harnesses both. Then get an internship in the field. Preferably multiple before you graduate.
2. Be a servant. Raise your hand, be the team leader, help your buddy with the class in which he’s struggling. Being a servant is important for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which being: it helps you create a strong network. A strong network is the X factor to getting a great job. And remember, your current classmates are your future network.
3. Apply for your dream internship/job when the opportunity comes. Get your resume & LinkedIn together early and submit the application. The worst they can say is “not now.”
ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH SOMEONE WHO IS HOPING TO GET INTO YOUR INDUSTRY OR BE ABLE TO WORK AT YOUR COMPANY?
If you are a problem solver who can work with people, you will thrive in Supply Chain/Operations Management.