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Broad: Small Class Size, Vast Learning Field

Photo: Masahiro Sato
Masahiro Sato
Class of 2009
Concentrations:  Supply Chain Management, Finance

It is true that time flies…more than half of my Broad journey has already passed. With hectic days as a Broad student, it was difficult to tell how much I had developed my skills over the past year. However, my summer internship experience at Cummins, Inc. made me realize how well Broad had equipped me with a variety of hard and soft skills and with confidence.

I worked in the Supply Chain Group at Cummins, Inc. over the summer, and my challenges started from the first day that I joined. Although I knew what my projects were, the director of the group and my manager were both away on business trips during my first week. I proactively tried to reach out to many people from various functions to capture the broader picture to help me understand the processes of my projects. To be efficient and to minimize the time they would need to spend with me, a newly joined intern with less credibility, I bullet pointed all the questions that I had beforehand, allowing the meetings to progress smoothly and to establish relationships with other people.

After gathering information and analyzing the current situation utilizing the frameworks that I had learned at Broad, it was time for me to propose my improvement plans. Keeping in mind who the audience was, I focused on the order and delivery of my proposals. My tactic of starting with the conclusions and the potential cost-savings opportunities achieved approval for my improvement plans.

My challenges continued as I went through the implementation phases. I had to collaborate and negotiate with a 3PL and suppliers all over the world. Considering the time differences and conflicts in interest, I first allocated my time accordingly in order to have close contact with them despite the time differences. Also, before talking to a 3PL and suppliers, I prepared ‘what-if’ scenarios to be responsive at discussions. In addition, I tracked communications to manage the huge number of suppliers. These efforts paid off to implement my plans successfully.

Although I faced many challenges while working in the US for the first time, by the end of my three-month internship, I had overcome all challenges and successfully accomplished my projects with annual $160K cost savings and with a fulltime offer. From my achievements and the great feedback that I got, I can confidently say that the small class size and the team-oriented culture of Broad helped me develop all of these hard and soft skill sets that are needed to solve problems in the real world. Over the past year and a half, time has not just flown but has borne much fruit in me. I also believe that in my second year, Broad will help me grow further to prepare me to start on my journey in the corporate world.

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