Creating connections the world over takes many resources and thorough planning. Our Global Supply Chain team is tasked with executing strategies and forming relationships that improve our supply chain – from receiving the necessary materials needed to innovate to making sure that technology gets into the hands of our customers. A passion for innovation and connection is essential in this role, and members of our Supply Chain Internship Program definitely have it.

The 10-to-12-week summer program is made up of several specialized paths that cover all aspects of the work our Supply Chain team does. The internship culminates with a case study challenge to demonstrate what they’ve learned.

“All of us came from teams across the Supply Chain organization,” Daniel DeRuiter, a member of the winning case study challenge team told us. “We had a few members from the sourcing team, a few from analytics, and some members from planning and logistics. Our experiences differed vastly depending on our team. However, a common theme across all our work is that we supported and worked alongside our business units to bring value to AT&T.”

A Day in the Life

“Predominantly we focused on sourcing activities such as negotiating NDAs and contracts, reviewing contracts for renegotiation, and researching legal clauses. We also spent a lot of time on planning and logistics activities for supply chain, data analysis, and presentation creation,” DeRuiter said.

The rest of the winning case team was made up of Claire Agee, Bhanu Pulikonda, Henry Peterson, Garima Kamnani, and Madison Dober. While they all worked on different projects and focused on different skills, they shared a similar inspiration and positive experience.

Members of the winning team pose together in an AT&T officeThey said, “One thing we all had in common was our interest in supply chain. We knew AT&T had a great reputation. Whether we had experience with supply chain work or were exploring the discipline for the first time, there was no better place to learn the field than with a Fortune 50 company.”

Taking on this role could seem intimidating at first, but they all spoke about the welcoming and encouraging atmosphere of the company. “Our core team was always there to help us succeed,” they said. “Our supervisors were always giving us feedback and opportunities to challenge ourselves. For the competition specifically, they acted as a sounding board and really helped us refine how our presentation flowed to give it the biggest impact.”

The Case Competition

This internship-closing competition was an opportunity to show everything they’ve learned and to work as a team.

Teams were assigned based on the organization that the interns reported to. Four teams in total competed. Team members had to combine their specialized skills to create one cohesive presentation. The topic of the case competition: how the use of generative AI could impact AT&T’s supply chain.

“We started broad and focused on how generative AI is being utilized in other industries,” the team told us. “Then, we narrowed it down to how AT&T as a whole could use the technology. Finally, we gave recommendations on specific areas where the company could implement generative AI based on the decision matrix we introduced.”

The project took long hours of research into AI, current supply chain trends, and group brainstorms. “I think our favorite part of the project was the hours spent holed up in a conference room together,” they said. “Most of our internship focused on individual projects, so this was our first real chance to work alongside each other and really bond as a team.”

The hard work paid off when they were declared the winners of the competition. “We felt incredibly proud of our work and very humbled to be the audience and director’s choice of best team,” DeRuiter said.

“We were ecstatic that our effort and hard work showed in the finished project!” added another team member.

Part of Something Bigger

The team’s experience with the competition and the internship overall were defined by the opportunity to do real work. They were immersed in the supply chain and the culture of AT&T overall. “We learned that, above all else, innovation and outside-the-box thinking are lauded at AT&T. Having great ideas and knowing how to voice them can take you far here. Hard work and innovative actions are truly celebrated and rewarded,” DeRuiter said.

The rest of the team added, “The culture at AT&T is built on connection. It’s vibrant and friendly. People are determined and ambitious, but not intimidating. The company is dedicated to developing young professionals and enabling employees to use their skills to the fullest. Working with like-minded individuals who are determined and ambitious leads to undeniably impactful results!”

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