With critical thinking and a focus on data-analytics, Brett Balick is well on his way to a career in Supply Chain Management. Brett seized an opportunity to work with a leading global logistics company while simultaneously combining his work and college careers to accomplish his long-term goals. This position with a global organization provided insight into the highly complex issues addressed daily in the logistics processes & services. The internship provided not only the experience to work within the industry, but it has assisted with the launch of Brett Balick’s career into his chosen profession.  It provided the potential for advancement within his current company and it also gave him the qualifications and experience to join a new organization in the future.

Brett Balick is a graduate of the Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Brett Balick graduated with Dean’s List honors, 3.7 GPA and was a recipient of a Merit Scholarship awarded for academic excellence. Brett Balick was a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, an academic leadership program. He was a member in Igoodea Creative Solutions, an entrepreneur club designed to implement creative projects. He participated in bi-weekly entrepreneurial workshops with experts in their fields.  He had the added advantage, due to the skills he acquired during his internship program with a global logistics organization in North Carolina. His internship introduced him to a variety of positions in the supply chain management industry, which was instrumental as he was able to bring a new focus to these entrepreneurial workshops, combining his education and knowledge of logistics.

While Brett Balick has completed his formal internship, he continues to work while exploring new opportunities in Data and Business/Logistics Analytics within the Supply Chain Management industry. His is looking forward to relocating to a major metro area such as Chicago, Washington, D.C., or Atlanta to start with a new organization. His goals are clear and his options are open and he is excited about the future.

Tell us about your internship. (Structure, time, personal investment, objective etc.)

I had an interest in Supply Chain Management throughout my college career. I know that every business relies on logistics and it is an industry that isn’t going to disappear. When I had the learned about an open house for a logistics company, Kuehne & Nagel, I was excited to learn that there was an internship that would offer a wide exposure to the logistics industry and I knew that Kuehne & Nagel had a great reputation and was one of the oldest international logistics companies. I was excited to interview and ultimately work for them. They offered me a good opportunity to gain experience in the field, learn about the industry and work for an internationally recognized industry leader. It was a tremendous opportunity that I have never taken for granted and I am so happy 21/2 years later that I decided to take the role.

What made you choose to take this internship?

The reason why I chose to take the internship was that it was a local company in a field I was interested in.  I liked the company culture and was excited to gain meaningful work experience. The company offered part-time hours which allowed me to work and continue an academically rigorous course load at the same time. The internship exposed me to a wide variety of areas so I was fortunate to learn many different aspects of the logistics industry. It helped me to define what I like to do on a daily basis and areas that I can see myself growing into as I continue along this career path.

How did you prepare for it?

I felt confident, nervous too, when I went for my interview with the company. I felt that I could contribute in a meaningful way and work hard enough to be a productive employee for the company. The internship has given me the tools to prepare me for a career that excites me and where I feel I will be able to continue to grow and learn. My course work helped me to prepare for this internship as I have had a number of analytics courses where I am required to analyze data and present results and work collaboratively.   All of these skills have been critical in my role.

What was the process of getting the position? Competition? Standards? etc.

I attended the open-house for Kuehne & Nagel with number of other students, like myself, and I was lucky enough to demonstrate why I would be a good fit for them. I liked and was interested in the field and had done course work that was instrumental in differentiating me from others applying for this role. I guess I interviewed well too and was excited to receive an offer.  The company has high standards and they wanted a collaborative, hard-working student who was prepared to make a commitment and go above and beyond and be reliable on an on-going basis. I was able to demonstrate that to them and was fortunate to be chosen as it has been a great role for me where I have spent over half of my college years. The company has been terrific and has provided me a flexible work schedule so that I could juggle both a work and academic schedule.

What about this job do you find challenging? 

Currently I work more on the Operations side of the business in this company. While the Operations side of the business is not my preference for my long -term career, I have learned a great deal. As an intern, there are many times that we are assigned the work that no one else wants to do and at times there could be better communication, as there are a number of people I do work for. This can add to the stress of the job but it also adds a challenging component which I like. Overall it has been a very good experience and a very rewarding challenge that will serve me well as I build my career.

What do you love about it? 

The opportunity to learn about the logistics field from a proven and reputable company will be a great spring board for me professionally.  In addition, their willingness and support to allow me to work according to my schedule has been amazing.  I am really appreciative for everything that they have taught me. It was my first office job and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. This is such a good company and I have learned a lot. I know how unusual it is to work with a team that looks out for your best interest as well and I am really appreciative to my supervisors and the company leadership. It has been an experience I feel fortunate to have had.

Where would you like to see the internship take you? 

I would like this position to take me into a supply chain management position. The internship has shown me many aspects of the logistics industry. It has solidified my interest in the field as well as defined that there is a real career path in this industry, one that will carry me into my future. Every business relies on logistics so I feel certain that I will have a career path that will continue to grow, evolve and challenge me. I am excited by the overall scope of the industry and I hope to focus on the Business/Analytics side utilizing my critical thinking skills while analyzing data and working to improve overall business processes and functions. I really enjoy these aspects and am hopeful that my next role will revolve around the utilization of these skills.

Have you done any volunteering since you began your internship? 

I did most of my volunteering when I went to college at Miami University in Ohio. My fraternity, Kappa Sigma, was active in the community and we did a lot of volunteer work locally in Oxford and in surrounding towns in Ohio.  I plan to continue to make a contribution to the community and continue with my volunteer work in whatever city I end up.

What are your hobbies? 

I spend my free time snowboarding, watching football and hanging out with friends, typical things. But the best thing I do in my free time is that I play the drums every day. Drumming is my passion.

What podcast/audio would you suggest everyone listens to?

The podcast I like most is “How I Built This” with Guy Raz. I would recommend this podcast to anyone who would like to start their own business. It is a conversation with successful entrepreneurs. I find it fascinating and really informative.

What would you like to be doing in the next five years? 

In the next five years, I would like to move from Charlotte to a major metro area such as Chicago, D.C. or Atlanta. I would like to find a position in which I can apply the skills I learned in college as well as on the job, preferably in an analytical role within the logistics industry. Of course, I’d like to be very financially successful in whatever I do professionally, and personally I’d like to make some new friends, travel and explore, and continue to grow. Ultimately, my goal is to make sure that when I look back at the old Brett Balick, I can feel like I’ve grown as a person tremendously. I also want to make sure that when people think of my name, Brett Balick, they think of what a hard worker I am, how resilient I am, how far I’ve pushed myself and what a good person I am.

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