As fall career fair season officially wraps up, I’ve been reflecting on my journey and how I landed a job at Werner Enterprises. Career fairs serve as an exciting time for students but can also be overwhelming. While attending a career fair, Werner’s career booth stood out to me among the hundreds in attendance. Members of Werner’s team were willing to give younger students a chance. I introduced myself to the Werner recruiter and learned about their internship program at their headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. I also learned their new internship opportunities in their Atlanta and Chicago offices. As a marketing major at The University of Georgia, I was thrilled to hear about this local opportunity. Additionally, because Atlanta is a satellite office of Werner, they host two interns instead of thirty, meaning I could receive more one-on-one training. After going through the interview process and receiving and accepting an offer, I was ready and excited to start my internship with Werner.
During my internship with Werner, I learned many valuable lessons that will help me in my career for years to come. My biggest takeaway, though, was the importance of a strong company culture for any successful business that extends to satellite offices and remote positions as well.
Werner’s core values are inclusion, leadership, safety and service, community, innovation and integrity. Despite working in Atlanta and being removed from the company’s headquarters, I consistently saw Werner’s core values in my coworkers’ and superiors’ actions and attitudes.
In the months approaching the beginning of my internship, I began to feel nervous about being a “remote” intern. Even though I would be working in a Werner office, I was still fifteen hours away from most of the interns and was worried that I would miss out on meeting and interacting with them. Thanks to the structure of Werner’s internship program, I never felt disconnected from the other interns. Even before starting my experience, I received Werner swag in the mail. This small gesture was the perfect way to make me feel like I was already a part of the team.
One of the assignments during our internship was a group project where we used our knowledge of Werner to present a solution to a strategic problem. Working with my group was one of my favorite aspects of the program because it allowed me to meet students from around the country and form lasting connections.
I saw examples of excellent leadership every day in my internship with Werner. The leadership team in Atlanta was constantly investing in their team to build them into strong leaders. They continuously push their employees to achieve as much as possible, not only because they want to create results, but because they want to grow the industry’s future leaders.
Outside of the Atlanta office, I learned from many of Werner’s leaders during our weekly Lessons with Leaders sessions. Every Wednesday, the interns would hear from people in management and executive roles about topics like the day-to-day of their positions, leadership mentalities and valuable advice.
Safety and Service
One of the most impactful experiences of my internship was a ride-along with one of Werner’s professional drivers. With little transportation experience prior to my internship, this ride-along helped me gain so much appreciation and respect for these men and women who help us Keep America Moving. I’m incredibly thankful that this is a part of the internship program. Observing a day in the life of a professional driver truly allows one to better understand the transportation and logistics industry.
During the ride-along, I realized the vital role communications plays and the importance of drivers, the maintenance team and office personnel all work together to make sure loads get delivered safely and on time. As we drove, I also saw how drivers must be alert and aware of following distance, merging traffic and speed to keep themselves and the vehicles around them safe. By keeping safety a top priority, drivers deliver the highest degree of service to customers and keep the motoring public safe.
Overall, I learned a lot during my summer internship, but the journey didn’t stop there. After finishing my internship, I have continued working with Werner as a part-time remote assistant logistics specialist. In this role, I am still working with the Werner Logistics Atlanta office, but I can also finish school. Every day I log on, there is always something new to do. I know I am being challenged and taking away valuable skills that will help me in my career.
I am so excited to see where the future will take me with Werner. If you’re looking for a sign to talk to the blue and yellow booth at your school’s career fair and intern with Werner, this is it.
To apply for Werner’s upcoming internship program, you can email [email protected].