Caitlin Manley, a fall 2012 INTA graduate, from Atlanta, held leadership positions across a variety of organizations as a student, including Alpha Xi Delta National PanHellenic Sorority, Student Government Association, Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honors Society, Colleges Against Cancer, and AIESEC. She also studied abroad with the Oxford Program as well as with the Argentina and Brazil Program. With an interest in international trade, Caitlin was one of a few Nunn School students to complete the Co-Op program, working with Action Capital Corporation in Atlanta, on accounts receivable financing. Additionally, she secured an internship at AFL Global in Greenville, SC, and just completed an import internship at Samuel Shapiro & Company in Decatur, GA. Caitlin is currently interviewing for various positions in consulting, rotational programs and import coordination, so we asked her a few questions about her internships and how her time at Tech helped her succeed.
What did you enjoy most about your internship and what did you find most challenging?
At Samuel Shapiro & Company, a global transportation and compliance firm, my job mostly involved working with the import/export account coordinators and transportation specialists. I really enjoyed seeing how trade agreements between different countries play out when it comes to importing and exporting products to and from the U.S., and seeing how transportation problems are solved (i.e. finding the quickest and cheapest path for a product to get from point A to point B, or finding a new port when one closes for various reasons).
Tell us about an experience that made an impression on you during your internship.
Hurricane Sandy had a huge impact on our nations ports – several northeastern U.S. ports were closed for a week or more because damage incurred. It was pretty exciting to see how the company figured things out for their customers. Much of the cargo being stored in the ports was extremely damaged, and getting it actually delivered to the customer proved to be quite challenging. Other cargo en route to affected ports had to be re-routed, which led to high traffic and delays at the alternate ports. Shapiro had to be the point of contact between the port coordinators, steamship lines, US Customs and Border Protection, and our customers all at once, keeping up-to-date, open communication all the time. I am impressed that although Shapiro is not an extremely small company, every employee, including the interns has an impact on the business and has their voice heard. I recently flew to the corporate office in Baltimore where I got to meet some of the other branch managers and the CEO. Having your ideas actually matter and being able to see them come to fruition is not something you can experience at every company, and I’m lucky to have worked at such a good one.
In what ways did your time at Tech prepare you for the internship?
Many late nights finishing up complex assignments has given me a very strong work ethic and highly developed problem-solving skills, which has been a huge advantage at every internship and co-op I’ve completed. All of my bosses have commented on the extreme dedication and strong critical thinking skills Georgia Tech interns bring to the table compared to those from other universities. My education specifically in international affairs has helped me with the internship at Samuel Shapiro & Company, because it has given me basic knowledge about domestic and foreign policies for importing and exporting, and has also given me a background in societal, political, and social norms abroad, which helps when working with foreign clients and partners.