In a rapidly changing landscape, Radhika Tawade integrated her academic interests to solve tough problems when working at Dow Chemical.
Radhika Tawade ’23, a native of Cary, North Carolina and business analytics and supply chain management double major, transformed her academic interests into a professional opportunity as an integrated supply chain intern with Dow Chemical. Tawade will be returning to Dow’s headquarters in Michigan upon graduation to begin working full-time as a supply chain rotational program specialist.
Tawade used her classroom curiosities to inform the type of internships she was searching for. In a challenging job market, it took perseverance to find the perfect position. Tawade accepted a summer internship with Dow Chemical, which solidified her interest in the intersection between analytics and supply chain management. Tawade credits the Student Professional Development Center (SPDC) for helping her to develop her personal brand during her job search.
We talked with Tawade to hear more about her experience working with the SPDC and its impact on her professional trajectory.
When you met with the SPDC staff, what were you trying to accomplish?
While moving through the job search process, I was regularly updating my resume. I utilized resume reviews to understand how to tailor different areas of my professional experiences and skillsets when applying to different positions and using that to my advantage in interviews. I met with Corinne Townley and Cindy Sweeney to ensure that I was representing myself well throughout the application process.
What did you learn from your experience working with SPDC?
When I was searching for an internship, I learned about patience and staying true to myself. It was at times frustrating to get rejected or hear no reply after multiple rounds of interviews. However, I was able to learn from past interviews to improve the next application.
How did your interest in the supply chain industry develop?
When I first started at Elon, I declared as a business analytics major. I was very interested in using visualizations and different analytical software systems to create business insights for companies. However, when the pandemic hit, I kept hearing about how supply chains were backed up.
I wanted to know more about what was going on behind the scenes with companies affected by these shortages. I became incredibly interested in how I could help companies analyze data and guide them through logistic system issues, so I added a supply chain management major into the mix. I’ve been able to learn so much from my classes at Elon and working at Dow this past summer solidified my love of the field.
Tell me about your experience in landing this opportunity with Dow Chemical Company.
I was added to projects that really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I was assigned to find better warehouse locations for our clients and create a cost-to-serve analysis of our options. I also helped create a database to store client information and create visualizations to update client status. This was one of my favorite projects, although it was extremely challenging to accommodate the changes in data. Throughout the project, I was also responsible for keeping everyone updated. I could tell that as the project grew and new people were added, information was getting lost and no one was keeping track of what was happening. So, after every new update, I made sure to set up virtual meetings or email threads to communicate updates to the team.
I fell in love with meeting new people and deciphering tough problems with colleagues. When I was offered to return as a supply chain rotation program specialist, I couldn’t say no!
What specific things about the company culture made an impression on you?
Every employee at Dow was welcoming and wanted to know more about me. Regardless of their position title, everyone I spoke with expressed interest in my projects. Through networking with people on other teams, I learned about different areas of the project I was working on. Everyone was very open to talking about their past work experience and how they worked their way up. If I needed to brainstorm with someone from a different department, they were always open to talk.
What recommendations would you share with other students about the SPDC?
I would recommend meeting with career advisors in the SPDC to update your resume and cover letter. Employers are always looking for talented people, so if you promote yourself well through these documents, you will enhance your hiring potential. Also, make sure to utilize mock interview appointments, they are a great way to practice interviewing skills!