by Mia Olijslager
Emily Cooperman takes a selfie at her Amazon operations internship. Photo provided.
There is a lot that goes on between the time you hit that “place your order” button and seeing your package delivered at your doorstep, just ask Emily Cooperman ‘22.
After spending ten weeks as an intern at one of Amazon’s delivery stations in New Jersey this summer, the marketing major and minor in hospitality and tourism management found her knack for impacting customer’s lives through delivery operations.
The School of Business recently caught up with Emily to learn more about her summer at Amazon.
What drew you to an internship with Amazon?
Throughout college, I’ve had multiple internships with small companies. They were great and I am thankful for those experiences, but I really wanted to experience working for a larger company. I figured what a better company than Amazon, the world’s fastest-growing online retailer! The application process included a behavioral profile and situational questions about real-life instances in the workplace. After I sent in my application, I had two back-to-back virtual interviews. Once I was offered the position and accepted, I became a part of the Intern 2021 Cohort.
What did your day-to-day look like as an operations management intern?
In a word, hectic! Each delivery station operates on a 24-hour workday. The night and day shifts are each entirely focused on getting packages out the door. As part of the day shift, we oversaw the loading of over 100 delivery trucks daily. In the world of operations, and especially Amazon, the smallest mishap can cause the entire process to get bogged down.
What is one thing you are most proud of accomplishing during your internship?
Once the trucks departed, a key part of my day was to work on my internship project. Each intern at Amazon was required to work on local process improvement needs and present their research to senior leadership after their internship. My project addressed delivery errors, and through my work, I ultimately made a process improvement recommendation that saved the station approximately $16,000 during my ten-week internship alone!
Emily and her manager. Provided.
That’s impressive! What business classes prepared you for your time at Amazon?
MGMT 301 — Management and Organizational Behavior — taught by Alexis Carrico certainly pertained to my internship as it equipped me with background knowledge about leadership styles in the workplace, customer responsiveness and six sigma. Amazon prides itself on its “customer obsession,” and I saw much of the class’s teachings and theories put into practice. Another course, Productions/Operations Management, DSCI 304 taught by Maryam Mahdikhani, was especially helpful in giving me an understanding of supply chain and process improvement methods. Amazon is assessing its operations daily and constantly tweaking for improvements.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned while interning at Amazon?
The process of how a package completes its journey and ultimately winds up at the correct customer’s doorstep was fascinating! As a customer, I was always very curious about the process of ordering something and it showing up at your house two days later. Amazon’s daily success is truly a supply chain miracle!
What has been a key takeaway from your internship experience?
I was so shy when I started college and got nervous about everything. But, I was extremely motivated to use all the resources I could during my time at CofC to help set me up with the best career I could find. I knew the first part of that would be securing meaningful internships. Using the School of Business Student Success Center and resume and interview practice from my business fraternity Phi Chi Theta helped to polish my skills and taught me where to find opportunities.
Any advice for your peers?
Get out of your comfort zone, apply to as many internships as possible and research companies you are interested in! It is never too soon to start planning for your future. “Have fun, work hard and make history,” as they say at Amazon.
This interview has been edited and condensed.