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Summer Internship Spotlight: Meet Ashley M. Lam ‘16
Summer Internship Spotlight: Meet Ashley M. Lam ‘16

Ashley M. Lam is a senior, majoring in Supply & Logistics Management at the Portland State University School of Business. She is currently interning with Boeing in the Everett Hazardous Materials Management Department until the end of September.

Always interested in business, Ashley first pursued an Accounting major. But after being introduced to Supply Chain Management and attending the cohort’s end of the year celebration, she switched majors within three days.

Ashley talked with us about how this decision has helped her land the internship and what she has been experiencing on-site.

How far in advance did you begin your search for internships?

I began to search for an internship heavily in fall term 2015, a year before my internship. Fall recruiting is a very crucial period because the larger career fair occurs during that term and during this fair is where many companies are looking for potential summer internships. Although it feels like a while before the summer it’s important for students to be prepared early and practice networking.

How did you find the internship at Boeing?

Boeing is such a huge supporter of our supply chain program and because of that our program takes part in the annual Boeing supply chain case competition that occurs during fall term. I managed to find space in a team shortly after attending the 2015 student celebration. I was first introduced to Boeing at the fall career fair and through competing in this competition. After applying online through their recruiting system I participated in the on campus interviews at PSU and the rest is history.

Give us a sense of “a day in the life” of your internship?

The most interesting thing about my internship is that every day is so different. Boeing really treats their interns like they are the future of their company and I experience that every day and am so thankful for this opportunity. Boeing is also such a large and complex company so every day is full of learning about the different organizations, about our products, and most importantly how we can better serve our customers. A good representation of a week for me includes traveling to other sites for tours and informational interviews, intern activities that include attending executive speaker events, classes and seminars, and all my other time is spent working on my organization specific project.

What have you been doing or have enjoyed doing at your internship?

What I’ve really enjoyed working on thus far is my summer project that involves streamlining processes for inventory management because it’s my opportunity to showcase the skills I’ve learned in my academic career and apply them to real world problems. What I enjoy most is knowing that I am able to add value to Boeing and have been able to make a difference and help my team.

How has the online internship course helped you be successful at your internship?

The online internship course has been a great resource to check back in every week and be reminded of some of the basic elements that apply to every internship or job. It’s also been an outlet for me to share my experiences and get feedback from an outside non bias party. It’s reassuring to know that all the other students are experiencing the same things as myself such as getting lost on the first day, stepping out of your comfort zone, and learning that change is really a good thing. Hearing about how other students have handled situations as they’ve come has been really insightful.

In what ways do you feel this experience will contribute to your career path?

I feel that my experience interning has really contributed to starting off strong in my career path. I have already learned so much, been exposed to so many different experiences, and have met some of the most inspiring people in my life. The most prevalent thing for me is how much my team inspires and challenges me to see things in a different perspective. They have taught me that for every issue and problem there is no one way to solve it and that even after we may have found a solution there is always still room for improvement. To me supply chain means continuous improvement and I try to embody that in everything that I do whether that is at Boeing or in my life outside of Boeing.


Seven steps to finding and getting the most out of an internship:

1. Begin your search approximately a year in advance – starting in fall term. CareerConnect is the best place to search online for internships.

2. Attend Career Fairs organized by your school and other career development activities.

3. Participate in case competitions organized by your company of choice, attend webinars, and info session opportunities.

4. Present your best self in the application process – get a resume review and do a mock interview before applying.

5. Take the internship 404 class to earn academic credit.

6. Once hired, network within the company to cultivate professional relationships.

7. Stay in touch with your contacts after the internship and do your part to foster the relationships.