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From Potatoes to Payments: My Journey as a Logistics Intern

My name is Sean Collier; I'm a senior in our Butler University chapter. I joined Lambda Chi Alpha as a freshman, and it has made for some of the best years of my life. During the summer between my Junior and Senior years, I stayed at Butler's campus to work at my internship for Koola Logistics.

Koola is a third-party logistics firm based in Carmel, Indianapolis (Just a three-minute drive from OOA) that services customers based all around the country. My role there was as an Operations Intern, negotiating pay rates with drivers, checking up on them to ensure the run was going smoothly, and scheduling appointments for pickup/dropoff. While this may seem like the unnecessary low-level work normally given to interns, it was the opposite.

Being given the responsibility to promise thousands of dollars to prospective drivers and talk with high-profile customers to confirm details was exactly the experience I hoped for my internship to be. I learned more about the industry than I could've hoped and went through some pretty incredible experiences. I once had the unfortunate task of explaining to a customer that his 30,000 lbs. of potatoes was destroyed when the trailer caught fire and burned the whole truck down to ash on the highway (the driver was okay.)

Having the skills on the phone to negotiate with drivers and calm down customers comes from the extra-personal skills that Lambda Chi Alpha gave me over these years. I was much more introverted in high school, but three years of being social throughout Lambda helped develop my speaking and conversational skills over the phone at Koola Logistics. The experience I had while there set me up perfectly for a follow-up internship at Spot Freight, another third-party logistics company located in downtown Indianapolis.

Spot Freight is a much larger company than Koola and offers me the chance to see how the larger players in the industry do business. I'm employed there with fellow Lambda senior Carter May, where we communicate with many of Spot's clients in the Accounts Receivable department. Like at my previous internship, we are entrusted with overseeing payments commonly ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

I don't know what my future will look like exactly at this point, but my dream is to either work in the supply side of logistics, such as overseeing a company's distribution network, or to be an account manager in a 3PL firm like Spot and Koola. Logistics is an incredibly hectic industry rife with angry phone calls, uncooperative carriers, and the occasional potato fire. Being able to problem solve in the industry that keeps America running is an environment that I love and want to continue my life in.

Sean Collier

AA 1936

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