Photo: Philip Johnson
Philip Johnson
Class of 2008
Concentrations:  Finance, Supply Chain Management, JD

Well, this was a big week for me. I elected to take an offer to return to John Deere for a second internship. A second internship is an option available to me because I am a joint degree student, pursuing both my MBA and my JD at the College of Law across the street. This year I had several offers to choose from and Deere was far from the most lucrative financially, but appealing for other reasons. I’ll discuss those in a little greater detail later. After thinking a lot about all of my offers, obviously discussing it with my fiancée, and praying about it, I can say that it is definitely a relief to have a decision made – and a decision that I feel confident about.

This past summer (2007) I was fortunate to intern with John Deere in Dubuque, Iowa. My concentrations are Supply Chain Management and Finance and I am a career switcher, working in finance for a couple of companies before I came back to school. My internship this past summer was an outstanding experience where I was able to work extensively with inventory management in service parts, not exactly the easiest aspect of supply chain to grasp, and actually develop strategic initiatives to improve performance throughout the organization. My bosses were outstanding and I really enjoyed the culture and my experience at the company. This aspect factored into my decision to pursue Deere again this year.

As I stated above I did have a couple of other offers to compare Deere to this year. One of the offers was for significantly more money but the company was unable to tell me exactly what I would be doing beyond “procurement.” This was unappealing to me because while I enjoy procurement I really wanted to know the nature of the project that I would be working on. Deere came through with an offer that fit very well with my aspirations professionally and that was a major factor. In the summer of 2008 I will be working on supplier innovation initiatives and actually assisting to build a system for procedures to work with suppliers. It should be an incredible experience and I felt fortunate to be offered the opportunity.

Financial aspects will always be a factor in almost any decision, and I’d like to opine for just a minute on those aspects. I stated above that I did have a more lucrative offer on the table and chose to neglect it. The reason for that was that after really weighing all of the figures the dollars were a lot closer than they initially looked. I definitely encourage everyone to look at all facets of your package (always done in full-time, less so in internships) because Deere offered all of the full-time benefits available to its employees to interns. What this means is that I get a very nice 401(k) package, health insurance, employee discounts (hey, I’m from Kansas), and other perks that really helped to make up the difference financially. Every other offer that I have received both years that I was searching for an internship did not have most or all of these benefits. Sometimes this doesn’t matter, but sometimes it does. In my case when I was able to make the financial ramifications balance out the decision became easy. I am very pleased to be heading back to Deere.

Gotta get going now, the Christian Legal Society is having a clothing drive at the law school and I’m supposed to work the booth and take the clothes to our drop off today, but everyone have a great time and I’ll write again soon.