Jack Wagner ’20 Logistics Intern- CTS – This summer, I spent ten weeks of my summer immersed in the field of logistics, working for a freight brokering agency in Phoenix, AZ. The company I worked for, Commodity Transportation Services, functions primarily as a third-party logistics company that helps growers and shippers working in the agricultural industry find trucks to transport their various commodities. We function under the budget allowed to us by each customer for each individual load. Our agency is projected to broker $24 million in freight this year, so it was quite an experience to intern for the company during the climax of the business year. My ten-week internship began with copious amounts of various forms of data entry to help me learn the basics of the company. After becoming comfortable and familiar with our systems and functions, I began to build a few client lists in anticipation for the upcoming seasons’ hotspots. This helped me gain experience making professional phone calls about our business before actually making sales calls. After the first half of my internship drew to an end, I had come to a point where I was allowed to start negotiating my own business with customers. In the second half of the summer, I negotiated well beyond $100,000 of business and was ultimately able to secure and manage over $25,000 of my own freight. This means I was responsible for negotiating a budget with our customers, negotiating with trucks to cover the given loads within this budget, while also operating at or above a 10% profit margin, as well as communicating with drivers daily in order to protect and manage our business. I was able to secure roughly $3,000 in profit for CTS throughout the five weeks I spent brokering my own freight.
This summer, I learned much more than the ins and outs of produce brokering. I learned about a thriving industry that I hadn’t previously given much thought to, formed relationships with some incredible people from very different backgrounds than myself, I witnessed and participated in a living, breathing example of the Wabash Alumni Base and gained an incredible amount of business experience that will transfer to any number of industries I could potentially choose to pursue. It was a formidable, yet very rewarding experience to travel to and live in a part of the country I had never experienced when I was largely on my own. While this summer had a few lonely points, I wouldn’t trade the experiences I had and the relationships I formed for anything. I gained a much deeper appreciation for what Wabash has to offer once you leave campus, and this has truly reinforced my confidence in my decision to pursue the distinction of a Wabash Man.