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Supply Chain Student Connects Business and the Classroom

by User Not Found | Aug 04, 2015

Katie_Headshot 1Katie Gerard, a junior at the University of Kansas, is currently interning with KC SmartPort and double majoring in Supply Chain Management and Information Systems Technology. Over the past two years she has been involved in a variety of different organizations. Before starting her internship with KC SmartPort, Katie was in Northern Europe with the KU supply chain program learning how supply chain management works in other parts of the world. Over the course of the summer, Katie has worked on various projects and attended a variety of events exposing her to the world of business development, the greater Kansas City Region and KC SmartPort.

Katie recently completed a review of the 2016 Transportation Outlook, which she reported sounds very positive. With the United States continuing to recover, unemployment rates dropping each month, and the predictions for the second largest job increase to be in manufacturing and logistics, 2016 should be a prosperous year.

Problems do exist within the industry including the truck driver shortage and low locomotive supply; but, if these problems are handled correctly progress should not be deterred. The Kansas City region looks even better, with eight new speculative buildings built or under construction in the region and 11 new automotive suppliers. Kansas City will be thriving right along with nation in 2016. If compared to a baseball game, Katie stated the Kansas City region is in the fifth inning for spec development and predicts it will have 12 total speculative buildings for the year.

Over the summer Katie has integrated knowledge from the classroom into various projects. She stated a lot of the information she has learned in her various business classes has overlapped into her work at KC SmartPort. “It especially came into play when writing the Transportation Outlook. I had to use knowledge from my Supply Chain classes to research the right information for the report,” Gerard said. She has also used her general knowledge of marketing and information systems to update KC SmartPort’s newly launched website, research topics for the monthly newsletter, and helped with various events.

Overall, Katie said this has been the best internship experience she could’ve asked for. It has allowed her to use her knowledge from the classroom to complete projects, but she has also gained a multitude of new experiences.

“My favorite part is getting to attend company tours and meetings with current or potential investors to really see how the business works and get firsthand experience in the conversations,” Gerard said. “It has been an amazing summer, I have gotten to make endless connections, build relationships with the SmartPort team, and use my knowledge to aid SmartPort in any way possible. It will be hard to leave, but I hope to be back one day,” she said. “I will always value the knowledge I gained from my time at KC SmartPort and use it for many years to come.” 

Read about Katie Gerard’s experience at the University of Kansas learning about supply chain.


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  1. Jennifer Jordan | Aug 06, 2015

    Thanks for sharing your summer experience!

    Rock Chalk!

  2. Frederick Baehner | Aug 06, 2015

    Katie, Great report. What is this about a locomotive shortage? Is this a nation-wide shortage?

    I would like to run something about your program in an upcoming edition of IBNewsmag. www.ibnewsmag.com


    Fred Baehner, Publisher


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