Should current students negotiate an INTERNSHIP offer (i.e., a higher salary)? Yes, since many orgs are offering students 20-30% below market value. The avg supply chain internship is $44,918/yr, or $21.6/hr. People on the lower end, bottom 10%, make $37K/yr ($17.80/hr), while the top 10% makes $54K ($25.96/hr). 

Open internships (>400) in MI, postings – & 3,000+ nationally – What are they looking for? SCM majors. Perhaps delay graduation for work experience & stay specialized…

Over half our students are making over $20/hr. I firmly believe the program avg is around 20-22/hr. You can work in food customer service for $16/hr. Fed Ex is hiring manual part time laborers for 22.50/hr. You can collect unemployment & make around 16 per hour. Why would any company want to pay 20-30% below avg?  

Should college grads negotiate a job offer (i.e., a higher starting salary)? Yes, but only if you know how to negotiate. I do have students that get offers in the $50K-$60K range & many successfully negotiate up to > $60-70K. That is a 10-30% bump before you even start! Many people have to work a few years to get that bump.

Our supply chain program avg is $64K. You need to position yourself within that context. Are you above avg? Why? And, does this org want someone that is above avg? Probably. If someone asked me what the avg WMU ISM student looked like, I might say: they have around a 3.3 – 3.4 GPA, 2-3 internships, a very relevant minor like Business Analytics, etc. So what if you have a 3.1 GPA & only one internship? It’s OK! You can still get the best jobs out there! Maybe you interview great, maybe you really connect w/ the corporate culture, maybe you have stronger soft skills, etc. What if you have a 2.7 GPA & have to take a job with a mom & pop 3PL for $48,600? What’s wrong w/ that?! Yes, there might be consequences for not getting more experience, for not having a higher GPA, for not having a BA minor, etc., but, it is America. You get 2nd+ chances.

Also, the top 20% in our program are getting offers 64K-78K from the F500 types. Not all orgs can compete against these offers & try not to focus too much on $. The $ will come no matter what if you have a challenging job. Try to make an assessment based on things beyond $. I know it is hard to do but you have to think long-term, & long-term the $ will come.

The most important part of your long term earning potential is not what your starting salary is, but what your resume will look like 3-5 years from now. In other words, what will you accomplish & what will you be doing in your first job during the first 3-5 years of your career? An offer for $80K might kill you long term if all you did is sit in a cubicle all day & buy CommodityX. You might stop learning & growing professionally in that kind of job. LEARN!


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