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A Step in the Right Direction
Kari Zimmer

Since I was a freshman in high school, it has been my dream to work for a Fortune 500 company. I remember being in a dentist office, picking up a Forbes Magazine and telling my mom it was going to feature me one day. As a first-generation college student coming from a single-parent home, I had no clue what the inside of a corporation looked like, how it worked or how I would get there. All I had was determination to succeed, passion to learn and a desire to get ahead.

I worked hard through high school and was accepted into Georgia Tech where I am heavily involved on campus. I was also accepted into a national program called INROADS which seeks to prepare underserved students for the corporate world by assisting in personal and professional development. The program helps align students with internships to fit their educational background and career goals.

When I first came to the UPS office for my interview, I was blown away. It was lunch time and a Final Four event and a blood drive were going on outside. There were plush-leather chairs, fancy art work, security at every entrance point and beautiful wood paneling everywhere. “This,” I thought, “is the corporate world.” Everyone was milling around going about his or her day but they were genuinely excited to be here and I could feel it. It was my first experience within a corporate environment and I was hooked. I was with my family when I received the official-offer call from UPS and as excited as we all were, my mother cried.

I still have the honeymoon feeling that started with my first visit and as I near the end of my internship, I realize that it is not leaving. People ask me about my internship experience and without hesitation, I tell them I absolutely love it. I’m learning new things every day and growing both personally and professionally. As an intern for UPS, I feel valued. I’m not making copies and getting coffee; I’m playing an integral role within my team on an important ongoing project and my results are tangible and visible.

I have been given the opportunity to experience many aspects of the company from visiting a hub to riding along with a package car driver as well as an accompanying an account executive.  These experiences not only gave me a great perspective on the scope of the company, but also a peek into the spirit of the UPSer. From drivers to senior leadership, the essence of camaraderie and focus on integrity and honesty runs deep through the company. I had no idea that people could actually enjoy their jobs as much as they do here. Not every day is a walk in the park but the attitudes, expectations and actions of everyone here contribute to such a positive environment.

As a UPS intern this summer, I have learned a lot. Being able to apply what I have learned in the classroom to my projects has been incredibly rewarding but I have learned more than just business acumen. If I had to narrow down my experience into a few takeaways, it would have to be the benefit of feedback, the concept of value and the importance of integrity. These lessons seem to permeate through UPS’s business strategy and will forever play a huge role in my career and the way I will personally hold myself accountable.

As I sit in my cube inside of UPS headquarters in Atlanta, ranking number 53 on the Fortune 500 list, I no doubt feel incredibly blessed and accomplished. I’m not quite UPS CEO, Scott Davis, yet but this internship is definitely a step in the right direction.

Category: Business Insights
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    Comments [3]

  1. Kari – what a great post! We are so grateful for your work this summer and so proud of your accomplishments!

  2. Nice blog, I’m a UPS Driver from Baltimore, Maryland and I’m glad you had a good experience with your internship. My son is doing one for GE right now.

  3. My dream would not be just a single place. Just having the money and ability to travel and see it all.

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