Savanah Kinney didn’t let the COVID-19 pandemic stop her from having a productive summer break.

The senior engineering technology major spent her time working as an operations intern at DHL Supply Chain within a Johnson & Johnson facility in Mooresville, Indiana. DHL controlled the facility but both business partners were onsite, giving her the opportunity to network and meet a variety of new people.

Kinney originally connected with DHL in her last few minutes spent at a job fair and wasn’t very familiar with the company. After speaking with a college recruiter at the fair, she interviewed and learned more about the values and international scope of work that the company conducts.

Most of her experience this summer focused on the business management side of supply chain and logistics, which complemented her study interests and technical background. Her typical workday varied depending on the project she was involved in.

She spent the majority of her time assisting a project management team working on an autonomous forklift, studying the effects and long-term efficiencies of the technology within a warehouse environment. It was a five-week-long project that allowed her to meet with members of other companies that were brought into the facility.

Student working on forklift

Savanah Kinney works onsite during her summer internship with DHL.

Kinney also spent a large portion of her time working on a capstone project with a team of other interns. The company hired over 200 interns stationed at various locations for the summer, which were partnered into capstone groups to complete research and present results in a multi-day, virtual event that other teams and business partners attended. Kinney’s team looked at efficiencies within the yard where inbound and outbound shipments were handled.

She was captivated by the level of engagement that the virtual event held and enjoyed the opportunity to see work that was being completed at different locations.

“It opened a lot of doors to new opportunities, and overall, it was a great experience,” she said.

While Kinney is a senior this year, she still has a few more semesters to complete at ISU before graduation. However, her experience at DHL resulted in an offer for a full-time engineering internship next summer. Her future plans also include the possibility of progressing to graduate school, where she is considering a hands-on, technical related course of study.

Kinney said that the summer experience allowed her to develop time management and self-direction skills, which help her navigate the online courses that she takes in today’s virtual learning environment.

Her advice for current students looking to gain experience?

“Be flexible. A big value from the company that I worked with was to learn from challenge and change. I think as time goes on, that’s a really good mindset to have… knowing that all experience is good experience.”

Interested in learning more about the engineering technology major? Check out the Department of Technology’s website.