Most good paying jobs are highly specialized (e.g., purchasing, operations, and logistics). Your degrees are highly specialized but you also have to get good practical work experience related to what you are majoring in. Quite simply, students without work experience in their major do not get good jobs in their major. That means you have to make getting an internship one of your top priorities while in school. You have to do this even if it means delaying graduation (in my opinion). The delay will pay for itself in terms of starting salary and future advancement opportunities (because of what you learned during the internship and what you brought into your full-time job because of the internship).
Pasted below is some feedback from a manager that thinks WMU students are less inclined to delay graduation for great work experience. I think his points are somewhat exaggerated, but I just wanted to reiterate the importance of getting work experience related to what you are majoring in. Please take this in the right spirit. I just want the very very best for you. I am currently working with a handful of WMU ISM graduates that are unemployed. What do they have in common? Low GPAs and no work experience. Again, please know that I am not judging. I just want the very best for you.
Students (here is an email from a manager):
As a bit of feedback, we always seem to have trouble convincing students from WMU that taking a semester off school and working for a large company is “okay”. They tend to want to stay in school straight through and graduate in 4 yrs. In my opinion, times have changed, and a student absolutely needs to have some co-op work experience on their resume in order to land a good job in the area of Supply Chain. A summer internship (around 3 months) is just not enough anymore, and more and more companies are moving away from programs like that, and moving to full-semester type co-op positions. I am not certain what WMU’s position is on students taking a semester off to relocate and complete a full
semester co-op term. Do you have conversations with students about that topic?
We primarily work with Bowling Green State Univ.’s Supply Chain program. They seem to help convince students to take a semester off, as the experience gained cannot be matched. This way, when students are interviewing, they are already expecting to take a semester off. Sometimes, at WMU, students seem shocked and uncomfortable about taking that semester off. All in all, we have still had some great co-ops from WMU, and we will continue to look to fill our positions with WMU students.
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Thank you. Sime
“WMU Integrated Supply Management (ISM)…Nation’s best undergraduate SCM program (Gartner); 2nd in SCM technology (SoftwareAdvice); 2nd in top global SCM talent (SCM World)”