Fernando Lee ‘15
|What extracurricular activities were you involved in at Texas A&M? I was mostly involved with an organization called Sophomores Leading and Motivating (SLAM). The organization started when I first joined as a sophomore and is now one of the highest-recruiting Sophomore Organizations on campus. I was also involved in intramural sports as a participant and as a referee.
Did you participate in an internship? I was an Operations Intern at Amazon in the summer of 2014. In my internship with Amazon, I assisted in directing over 90 associates throughout the inbound processes. I was also in charge of the benchmarking project where I had to test the inbound operation’s processes and improve them to, or past, the company standard performance metrics. The supply chain program here at A&M prepared me by teaching me what to look for in identifying areas of improvements, and how those improvements can be made through automation, in a warehouse setting.
What was your favorite Supply Chain Management course at Texas A&M? My favorite course was Information Technology in Supply Chain (SCMT 465). My professor, Dr. Gregory Heim, was a former consultant and helped teach the course using real life examples. In addition, the structure of the class was highly focused around being case-intensive and presentation-based. This emphasized a discussion-based way of learning, which helped increase the rate at which I learned and how much information I could retain.
What do you feel was the most beneficial course you took? Apart from Information Technology in Supply Chain, I think that the programming design class (ISYS 250) was hugely beneficial. It not only helped me get a grasp on how code works and how it is read, but it helped my problem solving skills tremendously. The key thing I took away is how to approach a problem and pay attention to detail. It really opens up your mind to the thought that there can be so many ways to solve the same problem.
Describe your career and what led you to finding your first professional job. It wasn’t long before I realized Supply Chain Management had the perfect balance of math and creative thinking. Once I interned with Amazon, I knew this was something I wanted to learn about for the rest of my life. Once I came back for my senior year, I was able to apply all the knowledge I learned, and it made learning in class a lot more interesting because of my work experience. I would have never gotten here without the help of my professors though. During my junior year I went to so many recruiting events that Dr. Madhav Pappu got me into and it helped my career tremendously. In addition to Dr. Pappu, I want to thank Drs. Sudarsan Rangan and Gregory Heim for helping me outside of class with course work and career advice. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
Any specific advice you would give to current Supply Chain Management students? One of the most important things in business, no matter the major, is networking. Building a network opens up paths throughout your whole career and is absolutely crucial. In addition, listen to your professors because they truly know what is best for you and want you to succeed. So much of what I learned came from visiting my professors during their office hours and talking to them. Lastly, work hard; it pays off. It can be really difficult and sometimes stressful to work at 100% all the time but those who do are the ones who get the big job and the big payday. Working hard has always paid off for me, and it will for you too!