Each summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics gain valuable professional-level exposure through internships. This year, young scholars were able to traverse the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic by pursuing an array of internships, externships and other professional development opportunities. Each profile of this series will detail a Lerner student’s experiences working on business-oriented projects.
Eric Albeiz, a Class of 2022 operations management major, spent his summer as a logistics intern at Modern Picnic.
Lerner: How did you find out about this internship? Why did you choose it?
Albeiz: I applied for the internship through Handshake. I decided to choose the supply chain/logistics intern position at Modern Picnic since it is a small, startup company. I knew I would be exposed to many aspects of running a small business. Ultimately, I hoped to gain hands-on experience to help pinpoint a specific career for my operations management major.
Lerner: Did the coronavirus pandemic impact your internship search and working experience? If so, how?
Albeiz: My internship search was impacted mostly because all aspects of the internship search were virtual. At Modern Picnic, I worked several days a week at their warehouse where COVID-19 precautions were fully enforced. Due to coronavirus, I participated in virtual weekly team Zoom meetings to assist with weekly reporting, as well as inventory planning and finance meetings.
Lerner: What did you learn from this internship that you think you would not have learned elsewhere?
Albeiz: Working directly with the founder of Modern Picnic, which is a high-growth startup, I learned the importance of utilizing post-raise money as efficiently as possible. Also, I learned to cross-functionally communicate with other departments, which allowed me to engage and better understand other areas of the business.
Lerner: What is the most exciting task or project that you have done or are currently doing in your role?
Albeiz: The most exciting and rewarding project I worked on during my summer internship was being involved in relocating Modern Picnic’s entire current small warehouse inventory to a larger, much needed third party logistics fulfillment center. The relocation involved constant communication with the founder in order to coordinate inventory planning, finance and making sure the integration process would be as efficient as possible.
Lerner: What is an example of a time where you were able to apply what you’ve learned at Lerner to your role?
Albeiz: During my time at Lerner, working towards my operations management degree, a required course is BUAD 306: Introduction to Service and Operations Management, I learned the fundamental concepts of forecasting. Understanding forecasting allowed me to better comprehend the entire ordering process. For example, how the price of air vs. sea shipping could greatly impact earning potential of the company.
Lerner: How do you think this internship will aid you with your professional goals?
Albeiz: This internship experience will aid me with my professional goals since it allowed me to learn many aspects of a business, including what is needed to efficiently run a warehouse. It taught me how critically important it is to communicate with others at all levels, including managers and all coworkers (customer service, finance, inventory planning) in order to run a successful business.
Lerner: What are your plans or next steps in your career once your internship is over?
Albeiz: My next steps include looking for a full-time job during my senior year. I am looking forward to using the skills I have learned this summer in the future.