Students keep cargo on the moveMoving products by truck, keeping an iron ore mine running smoothly, getting cargo off a ship, into a warehouse and onto a train — students majoring in Transportation and Logistics Management at UW-Superior will be doing all that and more this summer as they fulfill the internship requirements of their major.
By: By Elizabeth Reichert/UW-Superior student writer, Superior Telegram
Moving products by truck, keeping an iron ore mine running smoothly, getting cargo off a ship, into a warehouse and onto a train — students majoring in Transportation and Logistics Management at UW-Superior will be doing all that and more this summer as they fulfill the internship requirements of their major.
Earning a degree takes a lot more than listening to lectures and taking tests. In the Transportations and Logistics Management major, all students are required to complete an internship in their field of interest. Students choose where they want to work and go through a job application and interview process at the company before being selected for an internship.
Kenneth Chong, a senior from Mountain Lakes, N.J., is working in purchasing operations at Cliffs Natural Resources Northshore Mining Company in Silver Bay, Minn. He’s looking forward to gaining experience in his future career field.
“I really want the experience, to have something to show for the past two and a half years,” he said. “I will be using a lot of information from my supply chain classes and some of my transportation classes.”
Brady Peterson of Superior works at Halvor Lines Inc. as an operations manager intern. He wants to gain experience and knowledge of the trucking industry and apply what he’s learned in the classroom.
“Every note, homework assignment and exam will turn into real-life situations that will increase my knowledge in the industry,” he said. “It will benefit me by adding experience to my knowledge and prepare me in the matter of knowing how the industry works when applying for future jobs.”
In Duluth, Lindsey Paradice is working at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, gaining first-hand knowledge of the complex web of business and government issues involved in operating a port.
Paradice is learning about port operations from port authority officials and working with the port’s warehouse operator to understand the complexities of moving cargo by ship, train and truck. She’s also learning about issues such as harbor dredging as well as industrial development, working with the news media, and even hosting visiting groups of port users.
Yasith Samarakoon, a senior from Kandy, Sri Lanka, is an intern at DART Transit based in Eagan, Minn., for three months. He’ll work with the core operations, learning about sending and handling loads and learning how to use the Electronic Data Interchange — an important piece of technology that tracks how freight and information change.
“It’s a real position and potentially could be what I’m doing as a real career,” he said. “The internship gives you real-world experience.”
Kale McConnell, a senior from Duluth, also is an intern at DART in the Twin Cities. He’ll work either with customers, blocking loads and planning or in dispatching, doing route planning and matching loads with trucks.
McConnell is pursuing a railroad focus, but he wants to take himself out of his comfort zone and learn about the trucking industry.
“In an interconnected world, the likelihood is increasing that in a railroad position I’ll be working with the trucking industry,” he said. “I hope to broaden my skills and develop ones I never knew I had.”
McConnell gives high marks to the Transportation and Logistics Management program and its faculty.
“Dr. (Richard) Stewart and Dr. Mei Cao are very good and very knowledgeable about what they’re teaching,” he said. “There isn’t a class you don’t leave with something.”
Chong agrees the classes are applicable and thorough. “You don’t just briefly cover topics; you ‘deep dive,’” he said. “When you talk with professionals in the industry, you know what they’re talking about.”
The program provides a good foundation and building block for students interested in numerous areas of transportation and logistics. “We learn the basics of transportation in class,” Samarakoon said. “Once you get those basics, it’s not very hard to get into that industry-specific.”