Internships help students

The beginning of the school year always indicates new starts, and for seniors, the beginning of the end. This upcoming year is a pivotal time in landing jobs and starting careers.
Many seniors utilized this past summer to gain real world experience as interns. Through networking trips, job fairs and alumni relations, many students were able to land an internship in a desired field of work.
Last October, I went to the fall job fair hosted by The University and networked with various recruiters. I was truly interested in Sanofi Pharmaceuticals, which is the third largest pharmaceuticals firm in the world. They are the world’s leading producer of vaccines; namely flu, meningitis, and yellow fever. In addition, they produce common name products such as Allegra, Icy Hot, Goldbond, Sun In and Selsun Blue. In total, they produce over seventy products and own the majority of the market share for pharmaceuticals.
Being a marketing major and an operations minor, I was looking to find a job that would utilize my unique set of skills. I was fortunate enough to eventually land the internship in April, and I started working the week after finals.
The first two weeks of my internship involved getting trained on the Enterprise Resource Planning Program SAP. Once I passed various training modules, I was able to start the “real” work. I worked under the director of commercial operations.
Throughout the duration of my internship, I had daily deadlines, weekly deadlines and monthly deadlines for various projects regarding the flu vaccine. Because the flu vaccine becomes available to markets in early September, the summer is Sanofi’s busy season in producing, packaging and shipping the vaccine.
Every morning, I tracked inventory quantity and updated a companywide tracking sheet in accordance to the new numbers.
After doing so, I orchestrated an interdepartmental conference call discussing the numbers and addressing any discrepancies. Once the numbers were discussed, I created planner order reports and schedules for the flu vaccine.
From there, I updated the northern hemisphere filling plan and concentrated trackers based on the previous day’s production. Since the Northern and Southern Hemisphere have opposing seasons, we had to produce our vaccines with this in mind.
Once my daily tasks were completed, I moved on to my weekly deadlines. I projected costs based on the previous year’s demand for several different packaging commodities such as the vaccine’s carton, insert and label. I added an assurance measure to each estimated price in case of fluctuation.
The highlight of my internship was my monthly project. I collaborated with the graphic design team to create the labels and packaging for the 2015 term.
I suggested having a children’s drawing competition and the winner’s design would go on the packages for infant vaccines. My idea was implemented, and it was incredible to see it come to life.
Overall, I had an incredible experience interning at Sanofi. I highly recommend that KSOM students take advantage of the various opportunities the school has to offer. I was able to land my phenomenal internship through networking at last fall’s job fair and following up with recruiters.

By Andrea Ricketti

Business Correspondent

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