Mechanical engineering major Sam Morrison is learning the process of Coca-Cola’s supply chain inside out during a summer internship at the soft drink company’s bottling and distribution facilities in Tampa, Florida.
“I am loving this real-world experience and seeing how people relate their engineering degrees to daily life,” said Morrison, a quality and supply chain intern at the company. “It’s great to see the different jobs available with a mechanical engineering degree, even in this company alone – there are so many I didn’t know were even possibilities.”
Morrison, a junior at Florida Polytechnic University, is working directly with production supervisors and managers from departments such as sales, maintenance, planning, forecasting, production, and transportation.
“I really appreciate this opportunity because a lot of times when you get put into a role, you’re just doing the role and don’t understand the before and after,” Morrison said. “Knowing every step of the process is very refreshing, and now I get to learn as much as possible and understand how one thing can affect the next.”
The main part of Morrison’s internship is a management project focused on validating the supply chain processes and routines used to track shelf life of 16.9- and 20-ounce PET bottles. She will present the finalized total project management and conclusions to the national Coca-Cola organization.
“We are working to verify every part of the supply chain to make sure that dates are tracked and FIFO (first in, first out) is happening,” said Morrison, from Lakeland, Florida.
Once classes resume this fall, she is hopeful her internship will give her an edge in her coursework, just as her coursework gave her relevant experience for her internship.
“I am taking two operations research courses and I believe having this experience will help me a lot,” she said. “Last semester in mechatronics, we worked on palletizing robots, and yesterday we had a robot break down. Even though ours was a scaled down version, they were very similar – the real thing just has bigger servo motors.”
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