Using a semester off the Hill to gain hands-on business experience
While many of us know Johnson & Johnson for its baby lotion, Band-Aids, and Listerine, Camille Morley ‘15 is getting a behind-the-scenes look at the company through its co-op program.
Morley began working as the company’s distribution administration co-op — a full-time, multi-term position similar to an internship — this summer. She is taking this fall semester off to continue her work through the program, which she says is designed to “give students hands-on experience and training in supply-chain strategy, management, and logistics.”
Working at Johnson & Johnson’s distribution center outside of Indianapolis has enabled Morley to explore different sectors of the business — from improvements in packing supplies to working on reports about inventory of products, transportation, business costs, and other metrics. She has also participated in collaborative round-table training sessions between co-ops and supervisors.
“I’ve been fortunate to learn so many skills and business proficiencies from my supervisors and colleagues in such a condensed time period,” Morley says.
Through the St. Olaf Piper Center for Vocation and Career, Morley arranged to receive academic credit for her job at Johnson & Johnson. She worked with St. Olaf Entrepreneur in Residence Sian Muir to bring an academic framework to her experience.
As part of the college’s commitment to supporting students as they navigate potential career paths, the Piper Center offers numerous resources to help students secure internships that will enrich their studies and help them hone their professional skills. Last year 151 students earned academic credit for their internships. In addition to providing students with the ability to register their internships for academic credit, the Piper Center offers students funding for unpaid or underpaid internships.
Morley’s position at Johnson & Johnson has given her the chance to channel the broad concepts she’s studying as an economics major at St. Olaf into technical and realistic applications. “My courses have taught me how to think analytically, look at the bigger picture, and communicate effectively when examining the specifics of a particular business challenge,” Morley says.
One of Morley’s many co-op projects is a customer evaluation project in which she looks at top customers’ ordering trends and identifies and fills unused space in trailers and pallets through communication with the customers. This process has taught her about “value-adding,” an element that, along with “lean processes,” is critical in the world of business.
“I am very impressed with Camille’s willingness to get out of her comfort zone to pursue an internship with a Fortune 50 company in supply chain management. It is a testament to her drive and proactive nature,” Muir says.
Morley’s post-graduation plans are not yet determined, but she would like to continue her work in supply chain and eventually pursue a master’s degree in business administration.
“This job has definitely given me a chance to figure out what sort of industry positions I’d like to pursue,” she says.